Virgin Atlantic Cancels Gender-Neutral Uniform for FIFA 2022

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew won’t wear gender-neutral uniforms on flights to Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022.

(Read: The Struggle Between Airlines’ Uniforms And Gender Identity – Travel Radar)

Virgin’s New Policy

In October 2022, Britain’s second largest air service Virgin Atlantic proudly introduced a new and forward-thinking uniform policy. Ground and air staff, including pilots, are now free to wear clothing pieces that best represent their individuality, regardless of gender.

Virgin Atlantic's gender-neutral uniform
Virgin Atlantic’s inclusive uniform © Ben Queenborough

From skirts to ties, the gender-neutral uniforms are the work of the ‘Queen of Punk’ fashionista, Vivien Westwood.

The policy also includes pronoun badges, optional makeup, and visible tattoos.

Best to Be Hidden

Virgin Atlantic openly encourages its staff to embrace their true selves, but the airline decided to set aside its inclusive policy for Qatar-bound flights.

Harry Kane of the England team won’t wear the OneLove armband in FIFA World Cup 2022 © The Scotsman.

Since homosexuality is criminalized in Qatar, the authorities have firmly stated that protests and acts showing support for the LGBTQIA+ community will not be tolerated. After assessing the risk, the airline advised the staff to dress according to their biological gender for safety.

What’s Not Allowed in FIFA 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022
Lusail Stadium © Qatar 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 is one of the most anticipated events for athletes and sports fans. This year, the championship is being held in the Islamic state of Qatar, but it sparked controversy before the first match started.

FIFA 2022
Football Fans Cheering with Beer in hands © The Bulletin

In addition to the restrictions on LGBTQIA+ rights, Qatar’s other austere laws are also actively enforced for the World Cup:

  • Alcohol is prohibited on the premises of all eight stadiums except for the designated areas.
  • Public displays of intimacy are subjected to punishments.
  • Pregnant fans must show a marriage certificate should they need medical care as it is illegal for an unmarried woman to engage in sexual activity or give birth in Qatar.
  • Fans are to wear clothes that cover their shoulders, chest, stomach, and knees – tight leggings should also be covered by a dress or a skirt.

FIFA and Qatar authorities happily state that all fans are welcome and the event will be fun, pleasant, and respectful.

What do you think about the rules and regulations that Qatar has laid out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Panaphorn Khongpasuk
Panaphorn Khongpasuk
Aviation Reporter - A Thai medical graduate of the Poznan University of Medical Science, Panaphorn indulges her creativity through writing and art. She is currently working as a ghostwriter at The Urban Writers (Niches: Health, Medicine, Self-help) and contributes to Travel Radar on the side.


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