Flight attendants at United Airlines will be allowed to wear Santa hats and reindeer antler head accessories following a brief stint during which the fun festive adornments were outlawed. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) feared the accessories made their members look unprofessional but has now relented and embraced the cheer of the holiday season.
Sadly, Christmas-themed jumpers are still not permitted, although this has more to do with the fact that flight attendants must remain easily identifiable as a member of airline crew and a Christmas jumper is a step too far for many aviation regulators.
Both Alaska Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have managed to get around the ban on Christmas jumpers by designing their own and issuing them to crew as an item of uniform. United Airlines, unfortunately, has no plans to design its own Christmas jumper.
In previous years, flight attendants at United Airlines were told to wear “conservative” festive accessories but this rule has now been relaxed as long as the adornment remain “professional” looking.
In years gone by, conservative meant no flashing lights, glitter or slogans.
But United has now given the green light to “colorful” and even light-up accessories so long as general appearance rules are maintained. A colorful festive earring is, therefore, okay so long as it’s no longer than the prescribed 1-inch maximum length of uniform approved earrings.
Other festive-themed accessories that have been okay-d include socks, scarves, Christmas pins and head accessories.
In 2019, the Association of Flight Attendants attempted to ban light-up necklaces and Santa hats even when airlines like Emirates were encouraging crew to wear Reindeer antlers. This year, the ban has been dropped for United’s flight attendants.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.