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Are Big Changes Coming to the Delta Flight Attendants Uniforms in Summer of 2020?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines via Flickr

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.

Delta Air Lines hosts their uniform launch celebration Atlanta, GA, Minneapolis, MN, and Los Angeles, CA. On Tuesday, May 29th, 2018. Chris Rank/Studios

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.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines via Flickr

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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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. David SImon Reply

    I don’t understand the plum…I’d much rather see blue and red combinations. The reality is, the gate staff and cabin crews bust their butts every day, hopefully the airline can find something that looks great and is comfortable for long days. No point in being miserable in a uniform that doesn’t fit well, doesn’t hold up, and allegedly causes skin irritation.

  2. Last month, I my flight featured a FA who was not in the plum uniform. I thought she was a supervisor who was covering the flight on short notice. It turns out she’s one of the affected FAs (about 1400 mentioned). She was allergic to the dye and one of her friends was allergic to the synthetic fabric blend. So, in all, that’s less than 2% of their workforce is affected. So, why not create a new set of the same uniform using non-blended fabrics and more expensive natural dyes? I’m sure these affected employees will find a way for Delta to subsidize their more expensive uniforms.

  3. I like the previous uniform much more than this new one, but the company made the decision to change, and that’s their business. BUT, if it’s causing a problem for the staff, the company should accommodate the need for a solution, and letting someone wear the old uniform for now sounds like the perfect middle ground until the next version becomes available. You want the staff to be happy!
    It’s much along the lines of “Happy wife, happy life!”

  4. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    I thought switching to purple was odd given the Delta livery doesn’t have purple in it. But hey, Delta must have known something because not long after United announced new uniforms that also featured purple. So, obviously purple is a thing. In all seriousness, I don’t like the cut of the men’s suit jacket (or the solo blazer for red jacket supervisors) and accompanying pants. The jacket is way too modern. It looks like something out of Star Trek. The pants are too slim fitting. Some of the chunkier male flight attendants with a stomach don’t look good in them at all. Also, the men’s shirts seem to fade with laundering.

  5. I hate the plum. It’s one of those weird and probably shortlasting trends right now. Some guy in a board room going, “Hey how about we focus on a color that’s totally not part of the core colors”. It makes no sense.

  6. I love our new men’s uniform, at least for men. Collectively the passport plum color looks great, and honestly there’s no reason why we must match our planes with red white and blue uniforms… It keeps us fresh, modern etc…I’d hate to see it go. Other airlines love us in them.

  7. Delta is trying so hard to be like alliance partner Virgin Atlantic. This uniform is way too trendy and trendy doesn’t last. They had a previous gray uniform years back that lasted at best 3 years. I’m betting this one won’t last either.

    Secondly why didn’t the pilots update their uniform?

  8. Every single flight attendant is affected by the toxic in the uniform. The problem is that most people are asymptomatic! I didn’t develop a reaction until two years after wearing it. I was sent to ER. I was doubting it had to see with the uniform until I decided to wear my own white and the uniform pants on a work trip. The skin reaction reappeared in my legs only!
    The old uniforms were just fine. Don’t fix things that aren’t broken!

  9. I am a Delta flight attendant and I love the purple uniforms . I’m sad that I can’t wear them. I’ve been in black and white since March. Current policy is that we are now allowed to wear black and white (NOT the old uniform) while Delta works to fix the problem. Delta is currently getting ready to offer the men’s gray pantsuit altered to fit women. That will be the alternative for now and until then people who are affected in any way are permitted to wear black and white. I know Delta will fix this!

  10. 1000 people? Is that for a specific base? Because it’s about 5000 now. I have at least 1 person per crew in black and white. Just flew my last trip in purple and I’m hoping my hair comes back and the rashes and hives will stop. For y’all to say that it’s a 1000 is really disappointing and devaluing FAs health concerns. There’s been purple breast milk, purple pus from a cyst that had to be surgically removed, purple snot… the list goes on. These uniforms are poison and some of us have reached our toxic threshold while others it may take a bit more time, but if we stay in the purple, it WILL be reached. And yeah AFA is using this for votes because why wouldn’t they? At least someone is attempting to fight for us.

  11. With all due respect, your blog post is a little loose on facts. In particular, only American Airlines Flight Attendants we’re permitted to wear their old uniforms when experiencing adverse reactions to their uniforms—as stated above by a Delta Flight Attendant. Not sure where you are getting your facts; if your source is a closed Facebook group, have those members been made aware that you’re using them as a source for your blog?

  12. Egad! Purple breast milk? I don’t know about the rest of you, but that sounds pretty damn serious to me! Delta had better make that whole issue a number 1 priority before something spreads to customers who travel a lot!

  13. I cannot fully express in words how much I detest this uniform. The Richard Tyler uniform was a class act, was well constructed, and seemed to be worn by all, without any of the respiratory issues and skin reactions caused by this Zac Posen debacle. Mr. Posen, in his entire career, never did make any clothes for men, except for Delta, and the feminine flourishes persist on the male u niform, i.e., pink…yes, PINK shirts, purple piping on a grey, weirdly styled, poorly made jacket, with no body or structure; NO lapel; a satin ( ! ) collar; and gigantic gold buttons on both the jacket and sweater opjtions. I hang my head in shame every time I have to step out of the house in this weird get up. I feel like I’m dressed in drag! For a lot of us, this uniform only serves to reinforce the unfortunate, widespread, (and wholly inaccurate) notion that all male flight attendants are campy, limp-wristed gay men.

  14. Your FACTS are not accurate. Old uniforms are NOT being worn.

    • @Carol – I can assure you their are a number of FAs that are using the old ones.

  15. Rene, I beg to differ also about the old uniforms being worn as an alternative. It is simply NOT true. Flight attendants and ground staff who are experiencing issues with the ZP uniforms may, after requesting and being granted approval, wear black suits with white shirts. You may be seeing old uniforms around in the terminals, yes, but those employees work for connection carriers, not the mainline carrier. Their transitions into the new uniforms have been postponed until such time as issues with the new ones are adequately resolved. These are NOT mainline D employees.

  16. I am in the black and white uniform which is our only option. Would love to wear the old uniform! Took me months to get approval all while my hair was falling out and dealing with vertigo. Just wondering what long term effects will be from wearing these toxic uniforms?

  17. Snarky Queen Reply

    This is despicable!!! How dare they bring the culture down! I know- it’s the AFA and those Union rats behind all this. There is no purple milk. All lies!

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