Delta Flight Attendants Sue Over New Uniforms

Delta flight attendants have filed a class-action lawsuit over their new uniforms. The new  “Passport Plum” uniforms have allegedly caused skin irritation and suffer from poor craftsmanship.

Delta Air Lines
The new Delta uniforms. Photo: Delta Air Lines

What is the problem with the uniforms?

Simple Flying reported back in June that Delta cabin crew members were not happy with their new uniforms.

The carrier decided to update their look and move away from the original Richard Tyler designed uniforms created in 2006. This design change cost around $20 million but promised to bring crew members up to date with modern trends.

However, according to flight attendants who have been wearing the new uniforms, there are some issues:

  • Apparently, the quality of the uniforms is not the same as the original ones made in 2006, with seams falling apart and buttons popping off.
  • Some flight attendants have alleged that the uniforms “cause skin rashes, headaches, fatigue, breathing difficulties, hair loss, and nausea”. Yikes.

The impacts are so bad for some team members that they develop symptoms after standing near a uniform, without making physical contact or wearing the items.

The allergy issues may stem from the chemicals used to finish the fabric, to give it its color and stain/wrinkle resistance.

Lands’ End, who actually makes the uniform, has said to The Guardian that they are seriously investigating each case and complaint.

“We take each concern seriously and we work closely with Delta to attempt to find a solution that enables the employee to have a uniform that is both comfortable and functional.”

So far, cabin crew members who are affected have the following options:

  • Flight attendants can wear the old uniform if they prefer.
  • Female flight attendants can wear a male uniform (which seems to avoid the chemicals described above).
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines has turned a blind eye to those wanting to wear older uniforms. Photo: Delta Air Lines

What is happening now?

The situation has gotten so serious that flight attendant unions have filed a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the uniforms, Lands’ End. The class-action is not aimed at the carrier and Delta is not named as a defendant.

The lawsuit, filed at Western District of Wisconsin Court, claims that the uniforms caused “severe respiratory illnesses, rashes, boils, hives, blisters, sinus problems, headaches, and fatigue”. The complainants not only include flight attendants but also ramp and gate agents, lounge managers and more.

They are asking for damages for “personal injuries, pain and suffering, severe emotional distress and financial or economic loss” as well as Lands’ End to recall the uniforms.

Cabin crew hope that they get different uniforms. Photo: Delta News Hub

Delta and Lands’ End have stated that the unforms are harmless and have passed all internal tests.

“Our top priority continues to be the safety of our employees, which is why we invested in a rigorous toxicology study to determine if there was a universal scientific issue with the uniform,” said Delta Air Lines in a statement. “The results of the study confirm our uniforms meet the highest textile standards (OEKO-TEX) with the exception of the optional flight attendant apron, which we removed from the collection.”

Somewhat related to this news, Zac Posen, the designer of the uniform, has shut down his brand after being unable to find a buyer.

What do you think about this news? Let us know in the comments.