Cabin crew members were recently criticized for slipping standards of personal appearance in two separate emails from John Slater, the carrier’s vice president for in-flight operations. However, unnamed sources told Inc. that Slater’s email is a ruse to distract from uproar over new uniforms.
Last week, United Airlines‘ cabin crew members were asked by John Slater, the carrier’s vice president for in-flight operations, to be more mindful of their personal appearance. In two separate emails, Slater reminded staff to be more vigilant of details such as dirty or wrinkled shirts as well as worn footwear and skirts that don’t quite adhere to regulation style.
“Perhaps because of the distractions of our industry or the merger of our airlines, over time, we became too relaxed in compliance with established standards. We lost our focus on the value uniform standards have on our customers’ perception of our company,” Slater wrote in his second email, as reproduced at Business Insider.
However, unnamed sources have told Inc. that Slater’s two emails seem to be something of a ruse. The outlet reports that photos of new potential crew uniforms had been shared via the United Facebook Galley Gab page and that employees’ reaction to these new outfits has been less than positive.
An unnamed United member of crew told Inc.’s Chris Matyszczyk, “Flight attendants were going crazy. The samples really looked awful. They were not finalized versions of the new uniforms, but we were all up in arms. Colors were terrible and so were the actual uniform pieces.”
“People were so upset they were emailing Oscar [Oscar Muñoz, United’s CEO] to express their disappointment,” the source added.
Commenting on the timing of Slater’s email, another unnamed source told Matyszczyk, “This sudden interest in uniform appearance is really just a clever way to redirect the narrative from the Flight Attendant uproar about the uniform designs. You know,’Sorry you hated what you weren’t supposed to see but let’s talk about the way you wear the current uniform right now.’”