'That was it for me': Why an American Airlines flight attendant had to switch uniforms
American Airlines has chosen Lands' End to outfit more than 51,000 employees with new uniform items, officials with the apparel company announced Tuesday.
American Airlines and Lands' End officials will meet to discuss the next steps in the product design process with plans to test the new clothing items in the fall, according to a news release. Final product launch is expected to begin in late 2019, the news release said.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with American Airlines as their uniform supplier,” Lands' End CEO Jerome Griffith said in a statement. “The two companies share a strong commitment to their loyal customers and hold their employees in the highest regard.
"This exciting project has combined the strengths of the Lands' End and American Airlines teams – leveraging Lands’ End’s broad apparel design expertise and renowned quality, value and service, combined with months of valuable input from American Airlines employees, who will be wearing the uniforms with comfort and confidence in their day-to-day roles.”
American Airlines officials announced in June that they would look for a new uniform supplier after receiving thousands of complaints from flight attendants, pilots and gate agents who said they had allergic reactions to clothing manufactured by Twin Hill.
As complaints were reported by other work groups, American provided uniform options, including purchasing off-the-shelf clothing that's similar to the uniform design or buying a version designed by Aramark or M&H. More than 10,000 alternate uniforms have been ordered, American spokesman Ron DeFeo said.
"All of the testing to date confirms that the current uniforms are safe, and indeed, most team members wearing them do not have any issues doing so," said a memo sent to American Airlines employees. "Despite these efforts, it is clear we need a long-term solution because the current approach simply does not work."
Brian Kabateck, plaintiff attorney for American Airlines employees who have sued the company over the defective uniforms, said the switch to a new manufacturer doesn't help employees who continue to have problems with the previously issued uniforms.
“American Airlines may have picked a new uniform manufacturer but the company still hasn’t recalled the defective Twin Hill uniforms that are making thousands of AA employees sick," Kabateck said in a statement. "Switching uniform manufacturers does nothing to help the thousands of AA employees who are suffering from various illnesses related to exposure to the toxic uniforms. Delivery of the new uniforms is at least a year away, and in the meantime, thousands of employees continue to experience debilitating health problems that impact their daily lives and their ability to work."
Fort Worth-based American and Twin Hill mutually agreed to end the uniform supply contract when it expires in 2020.
This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives.