BA lets male pilots and cabin crew wear make-up and carry handbags in gender-neutral uniform overhaul

10 November 2022, 17:34 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 17:48

BA uniform guidelines have been reviewed
BA uniform guidelines have been reviewed. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

British Airways has overhauled its strict uniform policy so male pilots and cabin crew can wear make-up and carry handbags - but tattoos remain taboo.

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Airline bosses are understood to have told staff in an internal memo to "be bold, be proud, be yourself" as they announced their refreshed guidance.

The company was said to be nearing the end of its uniform review after rival Virgin Atlantic made dramatic changes to its traditional male and female uniforms.

Male pilots and cabin crew at British Airways will now be allowed to wear a "touch of mascara and lip colour" as well as false eyelashes.

They will also be able to paint their nails and wear their hair in a 'man bun'.

However, BA is maintaining its ban on visible tattoos.

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The changes follow Virgin Atlantic's decision to relax its uniform policy
The changes follow Virgin Atlantic's decision to relax its uniform policy. Picture: Alamy

A spokesperson for the airline told MailOnline: "We are proud of all of our colleagues at British Airways and we are committed to an inclusive working environment. 

"We have worked with our people to create updated guidelines for grooming, beauty and accessories, allowing our colleagues to bring the best, most authentic version of themselves to work every day."

It comes after Virgin Atlantic updated its uniform policy to remove gendered clothing requirements in September.

Staff can choose which uniform they wear - either the company's red option, worn most commonly by female attendants, or the burgundy option, previously worn by male attendants.

The changes mean men can wear skirts and women can wear trousers and also increase options available to non-binary staff members.