American Airlines rolled out new uniforms but was met with employee complaints about toxicity and physical effects. Testing couldn’t confirm this, but complaints mounted.
It’s something that’s happened at other airlines before, with large numbers of employees some have reactions to what they’re assigned to wear. However the number of complaints were large, and so American first offered alternatives for employees who believed they were having medical issues with their uniforms, and then began another redesign.
Their new uniform supplier is Lands End and they’re in process of testing uniform options for Flight Service, Airport Customer Service and Premium Customer Services. They’re now rolling out a second field test – after over 1000 employees participated in the first. There are two dress options for females (an “A-line dress” is being added) and employees will be surveyed later in May and ultimately vote for their preference.
New uniforms won’t be fully deployed until 2021.
American is going to have two different uniforms for these work groups because they’re offering a choice of wool blend and synthetic. Presumably then whatever employees choose, if they complain it’s their own fault. But the result is going to be two different looks, since the color of blue looks different on each.
The airline still isn’t working with a name designer, the way Delta and some international airlines do. Given the large number of employees and uniforms the cost would be miniscule once amortized across the project. And since it represents their brand it’d actually be cheaper than a lot of efforts they undertake.