Erica Stewart (center) helps Freda Sims (left) made sure her new uniform is looking good, while Carol Stockdale (right) looks on, before the start of the Delta Uniform launch at the International Terminal lobby in Atlanta GA Tuesday, May 29, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Delta makes fixes in response to glitches in new employee uniforms

Since Delta Air Lines rolled out new employee uniforms last week, the carrier has been responding to some issues raised with scratchy aprons, buttons falling off and skin sensitivity to some of the fabric.

Delta’s response comes after American Airlines encountered issues a couple of years ago with a new uniform rollout that prompted lawsuits and thousands of complaints about physical reactions to the uniforms.

So far, the problems at Atlanta-based Delta appear to be more limited. Delta said out of 64,000 employees wearing its new uniforms, the company has received about 25 reports of chafing or irritation.

“We continue to work through these on a case-by-case basis, but most were solved by opting for a different size or switching to a non-wool or 100% cotton item,” Delta spokeswoman Ashton Kang said in a written statement. The 25 complaints about chafing or irritation don’t include the complaints about the aprons, which are an optional item worn by flight attendants.

The issue could evolve, since not all Delta employees have started wearing the uniforms — if they have not worked a trip since the uniforms debuted, for example.

The issues arose after Delta’s new uniform rollout May 29 in spite of the company taking three years to develop the uniform collection, test it with 1,000 employees and make adjustments before the debut.

Delta in developing the uniforms worked with an auditor to visit supplier manufacturing facilities and fabric mills, and developed options including the 100% cotton and non-wool uniform pieces. Yet some issues still cropped up after the rollout.

“Since launch, we continue to actively source feedback and have already initiated conversations with any employee reporting an issue,” Delta said in a written statement.

The airline said it will change the apron to make the material softer around the neck area to reduce irritation.

The uniforms were designed by Zac Posen featuring a new ‘Passport Plum’ color and are supplied by Lands’ End. Delta said Lands’ End will replace items with faulty buttons.

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