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United’s New Appearance Standards Become Effective September 15, 2021

Date: August 13, 2021

United’s recently announced revisions to appearance standards will go into effect next month.  For some of us, these changes are reminiscent of a time in the past where appearance standards were strictly enforced through a program that included mandatory appearance checks.

For others, the change from perceived norms, may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. And for others yet, this program feels different perhaps because some aspects of the program establish more rigid expectations which might feel as if personal expression is being stifled. As with any new policy, there are a multitude of questions as people seek to navigate the new policy and understand what is expected of them. 

We have learned that all Flight Attendants will be required to complete an assigned course about these appearance standards in TakeOff learning. This course will be bundled in the upcoming Trimester material which is scheduled to be available by the end of this week.

While United’s revised appearance standards do not go into effect until September 15, 2021, there is an expectation of compliance with the existing standards in the interim. 

We realize this new approach by United has created some angst, as does any change. Some of the changes, perhaps misunderstood, have created controversy both in the media and in discussions with each other. As with many decisions United makes, we may each have our own personal feelings about what is being communicated.  However, we remind you we must first take the time to comprehensively understand what the changes are.  In every instance, we must avoid conflict with each other in the workplace and, of perhaps greater significance, when on social media.

The workplace and social media are not appropriate places for confrontation. While each of us are entitled to our respective opinions on any subject, we need to recognize there is a time and a place to have these discussions.  AFA EAP is the right choice if you have concerns. Our peer professionals are always available to assist in mediating any conversation and are dedicated to assisting each of us in working together while resolving differences. 

We also encourage you to be cautious in your approach to relaxing your personal appearance standards as they relate to this update, especially if you do not completely understand any aspect of the changes.  It’s always best to seek understanding through your supervisor or Local Council Office if you are unsure.

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