Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

No Fly Zone

May 3rd, 2009 by

Speaking as someone who has taken a lot of flights and flown with a lot of different airlines, I was particularly surprised to find out that some guy named Joel Madden, who plays in some band called Good Charlotte and who dates some girl named Nicole Richie, was recently given an ultimatum by British Airways: either cover up the tattoos or don’t bother boarding the plane.

I mean, airlines are typically freaked about people boarding flights with bottles of water or lethal weapons. Sure, there’s nothing new about that.  I once had a pair of scissors taken from me before I could board my flight and dammit, I loved those freaking scissors,  but tattoos?  Since when is it a problem for a paying customer to sport tattoos?

Well, since last Saturday, apparently.

The row started when Joel Madden was attempting to catch a flight from London to Lisbon, Portugal.  An employee for BA told Madden that he would have to cover up his tattoos or remain in London.  There was no compromising with the little BA Nazi, so wanting to make his flight to Portugal, Madden obeyed the command and covered up.  Madden later logged on to his twitter account and complained about the entire incident.  In response to the horrible way in which they treated a customer, a BA representative had this to say:

“British Airways has no policy against tattoos at all.  The only dress policy is that people dress appropriately. There’s absolutely no prohibition of tattoos.”

Right.  Considering what happened, I would venture to guess that tattoos are not part of what BA considers an “appropriate” wardrobe choice.  Otherwise there wouldn’t have been any problems, right?  Sure, they claim that they have no policy against them, but I’m willing to bet that they don’t exactly have a policy for them, either.  Telling someone to cover up their tattoos before they can board a flight constitutes a pretty big problem in my book. 

Interestingly enough, BA lost 23 bags for every 1,000 passengers in 2006, making its baggage losses greater than any other European airline.  In fact, the last time that I flew BA, they lost my luggage too.  So I’m thinking that maybe if BA spent more time worrying about their customer’s belongings and less time worrying about how their customers looked…well, then just maybe their service could be vastly improved.  Until then, British Airways gets a BOO and also a particularly menacing HISS from me. 

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