Less than two years ago Delta made the move to change from the Richard Tyler designed uniforms, that rolled out way back in 2006, to the new Zac Posen designed “Passport Plum” costing a reported 20 million dollars.
I personally really like the old classic design and it worked well with the red white and blue paint colors you see still to this day on Delta jets (I simply can not picture plum painted jets – can you?). From my own casual conversations with FAs, most seem to like the new color scheme for both men and women.
Having said that, I have had feedback from Delta folks that the quality and durability of the Zac Posen uniforms manufactured by Lands End is not nearly as good as the previous ones. And not just the fabric; we are talking poor stitching and buttons popping off and so on.
There is also a ton of controversy swirling around these new-ish uniforms and there are rumors floating around that Delta is about to make a big change in the summer of 2020. Why? There are a number of reasons.
First up, there are some Delta flight attendants (reports say nearly 1000) complaining about ongoing allergic reactions with the uniforms. Some are impacted so drastically, according to a private Facebook group, that they can not even stand too close to those wearing the new uniforms without having an adverse reaction. This has culminated with a group of Delta flight attendants that are so upset they are taking legal action to try to solve the uniform issues. And the controversy, it seems, is heating up as we end the year.
Zac Posen, just last month, shut down his namesake brand. Truly surprising after so recently partnering with Delta to roll out the Passport Plum line. Delta, as we have seen with the Fly Delta App updates as well as in terminal and during the boarding zone / group process, continues to embrace the new purple color palate in it’s branding.
So what is Delta doing for its people who are having issues?
One source told me that, with permission from Delta, that they can use the old uniforms without fear of being written up for not following the purple branding theme. Another source says that Delta will, next summer, provide alternative uniforms for those who are having ongoing issues.
All of this controversy is clearly elevated right now with the AFA trying to entice Delta flight attendants to join their union. They have been using the “toxic uniforms” reports as proof that Delta does not really care about the flight attendants concerns. Delta has responded by posting that they have done independent testing and proven that there are no real issues with the new uniforms.
So what now? There are rumors that Delta is simply planning to allow Delta FAs to wear what they want (either the old style uniforms or new ones that will be out next summer) without first seeking company permission to do so. I reached out to Delta for a comment and asked if anything would be changing in 2020 and was not provided with a comment. I will be sure to update this post if any information is provided to me.
What do you think of this Delta FA uniform controversy? Are you still a fan of the new purple Delta branding or miss the old classic colors? Are you a Delta flight attendant and impacted by the uniforms and have other information to share? If so, please comment below! – René
Featured image: Delta Air Lines hosts their Uniform Launch celebration in Atlanta, Ga, Minneapolis, MN, and Los Angeles, CA. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (Chris Rank/Rank Studios)
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