American Airline Staff with new uniforms in March 2020. Photo: American Airlines

MIAMI— More than 50,000 American Airlines (AA) staff debut a new uniform collection manufactured by Lands’ End today, after more than three years worth of input from frontline team members, union representatives, wear testing in operations and garment certification.

AA is the first airline to provide a full uniform collection that is STANDARD 100 certified by OEKO-TEX for its Flight Attendants, Customer Service Agents, and Premium Guest Services team members.

The new uniforms’ promotional video. Courtesy AA.

AA’s union representatives chose Lands’ End to supply the new garments. The new uniforms come in a new Aviation Blue color and shirting and accessories that are unique to each workgroup.

Brady Byrnes, American’s Managing Director of Flight Service Base Operations, said, “when we set out to create our new uniform collection, the clear goal was to deliver an industry-leading program with the highest levels of safety, input, and choice.”

Byrnes added, “none of this would be possible without the partnership of our union representatives, and, most importantly, the thousands of team members who provided input and feedback along the way. This isn’t just a uniform for our team members, it’s one that was created by them, and we are excited to turn the page.”

Staff with new uniforms. Courtesy AA.

“We’re proud to partner with the world’s largest airline to deliver an innovative and first-of-its-kind uniform collection,” said Joe Ferreri, Senior Vice President of Lands’ End Business Outfitters.”

Ferreri added, “the team members at American have played a pivotal role in the creation of this collection, and it’s been an exciting journey to get us to today.”

Fixing a garment safety issue

Back in September 2017, 100 American Airlines employees filed suit against Tailored Brands Purchasing, LLC, alleging that the uniforms made by the company and introduced to staff in the fall of 2016, exposed them to chemicals detected in the synthetic materials.

According to the lawsuit, more than 3,000 flight attendants and about 200 pilots complained that the uniforms caused rashes, hives, respiratory problems, cognitive problems, headaches, ear and throat irritations, fatigue and various auto-immune conditions.

STANDARD 100 certification tag.

Keeping its promise of new uniforms for this year, AA has taken the correct measures in seeking STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certification on every garment across all of its new uniform collections.

The STANDARD 100 certification is an independent testing and certification system for clothing, accessories and any product made with fabric. All parts of the garment, including sewing threads, buttons, and zippers, are tested for hazardous chemicals.

AFTA celebrates the arrival of the new uniforms

Lori Bassani, national president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), stated, “Today is a momentous day for the Flight Attendants of American Airlines as we don our new Lands’ End uniforms. This uniform was borne of much controversy surrounding health issues from the last new uniform roll-out just a few years ago.”

“APFA received more than 5,000 reports from our members with health concerns from rashes and hives to severe respiratory issues. Some could not work in proximity to the old uniform and have been out of work,” said Bassani.

The APFA president assured that she was “extremely proud of APFA and American Airlines for addressing this situation that ultimately has led to the safest airline uniform in the industry.”

Bassani said that APFA remained confident in the new Lands’ End uniform garments STANDARD 100 certification.

“Our APFA union representatives were involved every step of the way to ensure that this uniform reached the highest standards, right down to the thread, buttons, and zippers,” concluded Bassani.