American Airlines is Field Testing New Uniforms

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The whole designer thing always made me laugh. I would do polo shirts and khakis (maybe a skirt) and be done with it. The crews are SO much more overdressed than the passengers today it’s become silly. Those DL uniforms in purple for woman are awful and unattractive to boot.

    I hope theses more simple uniforms do well for AA as I am tired of the old USAirways track suit tops some FA are still wearing.

  2. Make Hugo Boss do it.

    “The Authoritarian collection, it makes asking ‘are we gonna have a problem’ 1000% more effective!”

  3. I think airlines uniform design and quality reflects the company’s culture

  4. as a former Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent. I have gone thru many uniform changes. the last one was the worst yet. The current uniform is 100 polyester (recycled plastic) I am so glad I retired before I had to wear them. The best uniforms we had in my opinion was the Lands End. The polos were 100 percent cotton, they were soft, cool in the summer, the slacks were not the best, but better than the current version. I personally if choosing uniforms would offer 2 or 3 different color options for polos and offer a linen or cotton tropical print shirt, along with khakis and navy slacks, shorts, and skirts.

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