A Virgin Atlantic Airbus on final approach into John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt

Virgin Atlantic Updates Uniform Policy To Become A Carrier For Everyone

LONDON – Virgin Atlantic has updated its gender identity policy, which allows its flight attendants to wear uniforms that fit their personal gender identity or even allow cabin crews to openly wear tattoos. 

Uniform Policy Updates


This policy allows, for example, for female pilots to wear uniforms that were originally designed for males, and vice versa. This is part of a big campaign at Virgin Atlantic to embrace the LGBTQ+ culture and to give their staff more personal freedom to be and express themselves as whom they think they are. 

Another big policy change is that the staff badge will also show other options for their pronouns, meaning that a staff member is able to choose the “U” or “X” option for their pronouns. Also, customers will be given more options when booking a flight with more gender-neutral pronouns, such as “Mx”, which is in lieu of passport changes which also allow citizens to change their pronouns to whatever they want. 

The staff will also be given mandatory inclusivity training in all of the Virgin Atlantic holdings, such as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays, to ensure that the customers will feel more welcomed and that the barrier with LGBTQ+ people will be slowly removed.

Jaime Forsstroem, Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic commented: “The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.”

Michelle Visage commented: “As the mother of a non-binary child, and as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, these efforts by Virgin Atlantic to further inclusivity for its people are extremely important and personal to me. People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them, and this gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are and bring their full selves to work.”

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer says, “At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are.”

“That’s why it’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work. It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.”

Research

This campaign is part of research that has been previously done in regards to the effects that the staff will have when they are more able to express themselves. 

The research has been done by 3Gem on behalf of Virgin Atlantic between September 5 and 6 2022, which polled more than 2000 adults aged 18 or older.

It concluded that the staff will boost happiness by 65%, increased mental well-being by 49%, created a more positive environment with a 36% increase, and passengers also experienced better customer service, with an increase of 24%. Employees also reported feeling more accepted and comfortable when able to be their true selves at work (26%) and an increased sense of loyalty to their employer (21%).

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