Tattoo Policies

Updated Air Canada Tattoo Policy (2023)

The national airline of Canada, Air Canada, is a trusted and reliable transportation provider throughout North America. Founded over 80 years ago, Air Canada has continued to set high industry standards for airline employees and passengers.

All airlines enforce strict personal appearance and uniform guidelines for crew members. Not only do these policies serve to elevate the professionalism of the brand, but uniforms also make it easier for passengers to identify crew members in the cabin. However, like most airlines, Air Canada’s personal appearance policies were considered extremely restrictive and did not align with current societal norms. Staff specifically addressed concerns regarding the discriminatory nature of Air Canada’s tattoo policy. These regulations prohibited visible tattoos and limited the number and placement of piercings on flight attendants and other crew members. 

Air Canada was forced to amend their tattoo policy after the Canadian Union of Public Employees filed an official complaint. The ruling was based on a shift in society’s overall acceptance of permanent ink and reports of high stress and anxiety from Air Canada employees regarding its outdated rules. 

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Air Canada Tattoo Policy

Does Air Canada Allow Tattoos?

Air Canada Tattoo Policy

Air Canada recently adjusted their tattoo and piercing policy to be more inclusive and aligned with societal norms. Their previous personal hygiene standards required employees to conceal visible tattoos, and piercings were limited to a single hole in the ear. However, recent adjustments to the policy now permit all airline staff to show certain tattoos and piercings.

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2023 Updates to Air Canada’s Tattoo Policy

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed a complaint with Air Canada regarding the restrictive dress code policy on behalf of flight attendants and all other crew. Societal norms have shifted, and tattoos are no longer deemed relevant to professionalism or the ability to perform a job adequately. Air Canada employees argued that the no-tattoo and piercing policy was discriminatory and unreasonable.

Air Canada’s strict grooming and standards reportedly caused employees stress and anxiety. For millennia, tattoos and piercings have served as an essential form of self-expression. Based on these considerations, the labor arbitrator ultimately ruled Air Canada’s tattoo policy was too restrictive. The presence of tattoos and piercings on flight attendants and crew did not impact Air Canada’s ability to advance its business. Therefore it was deemed necessary to adjust the policy less limitingly.

Navigating The Do’s and Don’ts of Air Canada’s New Tattoo Policy

Air Canada’s revised tattoo policy is much more accepting of ink and piercings. However, there are still guidelines staff must follow.

Henna Tattoos

The Air Canada tattoo policy now allows all crew and staff to show henna tattoos for religious, cultural, or celebratory reasons. This style of tattooing is temporary; however, henna tattoos still must abide by content restrictions enforced on permanent ink. 

Visible Tattoos

Under the revised Air Canada tattoo policy, flight attendants and crew can show discreet tattoos. However, there are restrictions regarding the content of the subject matter of ink. For example, tattoos depicting offensive language, violence, drugs, alcohol, violence, or hatred are banned. In addition, Air Canada personnel must cover any tattoos on the face or neck. While the policy is considerably more flexible now, the dress code still notes the preference for discreet ink. 


The original Air Canada flight attendant tattoo policy allowed for single ear piercings. Jewellery was limited to simple studs in gold or silver. However, Air Canada staff are now allowed more flexibility with their personal appearance. Updated standards permit up to three piercings per ear. Jewellery options are still limited, with the preference for studs or small hoops under a quarter-inch diameter. Classic stones like diamonds and pearls are allowed. However, colour jewellery is prohibited. 

In addition, flight attendants and other cabin crew can wear up to one nose piercing. Earrings must be studs or small hoops that remain pressed against the nostril. Air Canada staff cannot have gauges or lobe spacers and must abide by jewellery restrictions to comply with the updated policy.

Impact of the Updated Tattoo Policy on Air Canada Employees

The updated Air Canada tattoo policy applies to all current employees, including pilots, flight attendants, ground staff, and cabin crew. Failure to abide by the limitations in the amended personal appearance guidelines can still result in disciplinary action. However, the labor arbitrator that ruled in favour of the policy adjustment required Air Canada to expunge any previous disciplinary actions related to the old Air Canada tattoo and piercing policy. Any violations were to be permanently removed from employees’ records. Air Canada did not disclose the number of employees affected by personal appearance infractions. However, it is presumed that a large number of disciplinary actions were removed.

Tattoo Management Options for Air Canada Employees

While the new Air Canada tattoo policy provides much more flexibility for employees regarding their personal appearance, several critical compliance requirements remain. Air Canada pilots, flight attendants, and cabin crew with face or neck tattoos still need to conceal their ink. In addition, any tattoo content deemed offensive must be hidden or removed. There are several tattoo removal methods Air Canada employees can use to abide by the new tattoo and piercing standards.

Tattoo Makeup

Full coverage, waterproof concealer can be effective at covering up tattoos. In addition, several cosmetic brands make products specifically designed to conceal ink. This option is an excellent choice for Air Canada crew who do not want to remove their tattoo but still need to remain compliant with the dress code policy. While it may be inconvenient to apply these products daily, it is an alternative to disciplinarian action or the total removal of a beloved tattoo.

Cover-up Tattoo

Any Air Canada employee with a tattoo that violates the company’s personal appearance guidelines can achieve compliance by covering up offensive ink with new artwork. Research tattoo artists and studios that specialise in cover-up work and make a consultation based on their tattoo portfolios. Experienced artists are able to completely conceal unwanted ink with beautiful new pieces that abide by the guidelines of the Air Canada tattoo policy.

Tattoo Removal

As Air Canada forbids any tattoos on the face or neck, it may be best to remove ink entirely, especially if an employee intends to have a long career with the company and does not want to cover their tattoo daily. Laser tattoo removal is the only method that is effective at completely erasing unwanted ink. While laser tattoo removal can be a lengthy process, the final result is clean, unblemished skin. Consult with a highly rated tattoo removal company like Removery to understand your options, including cost, time to remove, and any limiting factors that may negatively affect results. Check out Removery’s face tattoo removal results.

Tattoo Removal with Removery: A Safe and Effective Solution

Removery is the world’s leading provider of laser tattoo removal services. Their studios use top-of-the-line technology that effectively breaks apart ink particles so they can be naturally processed through the body’s immune system. Removery’s laser removal process is safe and produces unbelievable results. Most tattoos are eligible for complete removal, including all ink colours and most body locations.

In addition to complete tattoo removal, Removery specialises in the fading of ink to prep skin for cover-up tattoo pieces. So if you want to redo old artwork, consider scheduling a series of laser tattoo removal appointments before getting new ink. This additional step will make the cover-up tattoo process go more smoothly and give you more options for your new design.

Getting Started with Removery

Are you ready to start the laser tattoo removal process? Contact Removery to set up a free consultation today! Their experience and knowledgeable staff will advise on the best treatment options to meet your goals. With convenient locations in AlbertaBritish Columbia and Ontario, Removery is Canada’s leading tattoo removal provider.

So if you are an inked Air Canada employee searching for effective ways to meet the new tattoo policy standards, give Removery a call. Dress code compliance is only a few treatment sessions away!

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