Delta Responds To Reports Of Symptomatic Reactions To New Uniforms

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With great fanfare, Delta Air Lines last week rolled out new uniforms for tens of thousands of flight attendants, gate agents and other employee groups. Lands’ End (NASDAQ: LE) supplied the new outfits for 64,000 employees — 1.2 million uniform pieces altogether.

But within a matter of hours of the Delta (NYSE: DAL) uniform rollout — with fashion shows in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Los Angeles — there were reports of possible symptomatic reactions to the new outfits. That news travelled like the proverbial wildfire across social media channels and particularly caught the attention of American Airlines flight attendants who, for the past year and a half, have been grappling with their own ordeal involving symptomatic reactions believed to be tied to new uniforms supplied by Twin Hill, a unit of Men’s Wearhouse, which is a division of Tailored Brands (NYSE: TLRD).

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One Delta flight attendant posted an image on social media of clearly visible reddened skin beneath an apron she wore on a 10-hour flight to Rome. Along with the image she wrote: “my neck after a 10-hour Rome flight . . .it hurts!! Who do I report this to? Uniform committee?”

That report from a Delta flight attendant prompted an outcry from one American Airlines flight attendant: “Y’all wanted Lands’ End so we could be like Delta. Now they are a MESS. They are having reactions, their uniforms are ripping, buttons falling off, wings won’t stay on, etc. Oh, and the Lands’ End factories are in Indonesia and mainland China, not America.”

The Delta uniform rollout is of special interest to tens of thousands of American Airlines employees. Earlier this year, American (NASDAQ: AAL) selected Lands’ End to produce a new round of uniforms after the carrier opted not to renew a uniform contract with Twin Hill, but those AA uniforms from Lands’ End are not expected to be ready until early 2020.

A Delta spokeswoman on Friday morning had this to say about the uniform rollout and possible reactions so far: “Since our new uniforms launched for 64,000 Delta employees, we have received a few reports about potential chafing or skin irritation. Just like the learnings we received from our thorough, three-year development process, which included three months of wear-testing on 1,000 frontline employees, we continue to listen and will resolve concerns on a case-by-case basis. We have already initiated conversations with each employee reporting an issue.”

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