Last December I wrote about American’s new employee uniforms, which I know most employees are quite excited about. While I don’t think uniforms as such change the experience for customers, there’s no denying that uniforms that employees are proud to wear contribute positively to morale, and that’s good for customers.
I don’t envy the job of creating employee uniforms, given what a diverse work group American has, not to mention that they’re no doubt on a budget. It’s pretty normal for there to be a bit of controversy surrounding new airline uniforms, as we saw with Delta when they introduced red dresses several years back.
But what’s interesting is that this time around it’s American’s pilots that have issues with the uniforms, and not the flight attendants. Pilots aren’t usually as concerned about uniforms as flight attendants, since they take much of it off when in the cockpit anyway and don’t have to move around in it as much as flight attendants.
The American Allied Pilots Association has taken an official stance against the new uniforms. Via the Dallas Morning News Aviation Blog:
“While individual perspectives varied, the consensus is that the uniforms as tested are unacceptable and management needs to identify a new uniform vendor,” the hotline said. “The testers cited concerns regarding material quality, uniform construction and fit.”
APA reps presented their views to American Airlines management Wednesday afternoon. The hotline said the APA delegation was directed to state “our strong desire” for six things, and we quote from the hotline.
1. A single-breasted/double-breasted choice, (if no choice is allowed, APA prefers the single-breasted jacket),
2. Acknowledgment of the need for regional/operational differences (e.g. Domestic vs. International, Caribbean, including an optional leather bomber jacket etc.),
3. American made pilot uniform (preferably union made),
4. Top quality fabric, fit and production,
5. Fabric that does not create allergy or health issues for crews, and
6. Another pilot wear test and survey with our concerns addressed before final decisions are made.
I’m curious to see how management responds to this one!