American Airlines To Trial A New Uniform

The world’s largest carrier is developing new uniforms for its 51,000 employees which are expected to be fully deployed by 2021. American Airlines will be conducting what will be a second field trial of its new uniforms, made by Lands End, in the next few months.

American Airlines' current uniform.
American Airlines’ current uniform. Image Source: American Airlines/Photo by Brandon Wade

Reports by Frequent Business Traveller of an announcement by American Airlines indicates the latest trial will begin on May 10th and run until July 2019. The airline has already completed its first field tests this April after moving to its new uniform supplier.

American’s previous flight attendant uniforms were launched in September 2016. They reportedly met with complaints of allergic reactions from staff, prompting the change.

Initial field tests with 1,000 staff

In November 2018 American Airlines revealed the plans for its first field tests of the new uniforms manufactured by Lands End. Over 1,000 of the airline’s team members across flight, airport, and customer services would test the uniforms in a six-month-long program. The press release at the time detailed:

“The six-month field test is the next step in delivering an industry-leading uniform program designed in collaboration with frontline team members, ensuring the highest levels of textile safety, comfort, durability and brand integrity.”

Working with staff on the breadth and depth of changes

American Airlines has indeed worked closely with staff to develop the uniform. Frontline team members have joined American’s Frontline Uniform Advisory Team (FUAT) to help in “making key decisions.”

And, it could be that after the forthcoming second field test, employees will be able to place orders for their new uniforms by fall 2019. Delivery could be as early as winter 2019 which would then see the uniforms begin to appear in American Airlines service. The carriers press release last November expected the uniform to commence rollout in late 2019.

A full rollout by 2021

View from the Wing reporting puts full deployment of the new uniforms by 2021, as per an infographic of the development process. This process includes further testing of phase two uniforms in 2020, with this phase two collection launching in 2021. It adds that American is planning two uniforms, with a choice for staff of wool blend or synthetic materials.

United Airlines also released details of its new employee uniforms in January this year. It too has worked closely with staff in its uniform development process. And, United says it is focused on quality fabrics for its 70,000 employees. Simple Flying has the complete lowdown on United’s uniform plans here.

An American Airlines Boeing 777-300.
An American Airlines Boeing 777-300. Image Source: American Airlines

Simple Flying recently took a detailed look at the history of American Airlines. It is the largest airline by fleet size with 950 craft. After beginning in the 1930s with flights between New York and Chicago it is now one of the “big three” American carriers. As such American Airlines’ new uniform roll out is widely anticipated.