Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Fit for the Runway - UA FA's to new uniforms & TUMI to be official luggage provider

Fit for the Runway - UA FA's to new uniforms & TUMI to be official luggage provider

    Hide Wikipost
Old Aug 24, 17, 5:31 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
Fit for the Runway - United Airlines Brings Fashion, Function and Comfort to the Friendly Skies

Airline partners with Brooks Brothers, Tracy Reese and Carhartt to reimagine next generation of uniforms
Employees are integral part in every step of the new uniform creation
United partners with TUMI as official luggage provider for flight attendants

August 24, 2017

CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today that it has partnered with three world-class design and apparel companies Brooks Brothers, Tracy Reese and Carhartt to inspire and create a new line of uniforms for the carrier's more than 70,000 front-line employees. Additionally, United will partner with TUMI, the leading international brand of premium travel, business and lifestyle accessories, to be the official luggage provider for all 24,000 flight attendants.

"The partners we've selected uniquely match what our employees asked for in a uniforms program style, comfort and durability," said Kate Gebo, senior vice president of global customer service delivery and chief customer officer of United. "We recognized early on that this would not be a 'one size fits all' solution front-line employees perform vastly different roles and deserve a uniform that meets their specific needs, created by leaders in the apparel business. Our United family is excited to see how these trusted and innovative brands will deliver world-class uniforms in close collaboration with our employees."

Committed to a best-in-class uniforms program, earlier this year the airline started what will be a multi-year process to ensure the proper amount of time for collaboration among employees, labor leadership and the partner brands as well as ample time to test uniforms before finalizing designs and materials. Working closely with labor leadership for all front-line teams, employee feedback will be used to inform every aspect of the design process, which will be followed by multiple thorough wear tests with employees to ensure optimal comfort and functionality of designs and materials. The process is structured to deliver comfortable, durable and fashionable uniforms that United's talented aviation professionals will feel proud to wear while performing their varied roles.

Based on employee feedback from focus groups, open houses and surveys, United identified a variety of distinct brands to meet the needs of employees and help deliver the company's next-generation uniform program. Over the last several months, Tracy Reese and representatives from Brooks Brothers and Carhartt met with employees at all of United's U.S. domestic hub locations. United anticipates rolling out new uniforms in 2020.
FA TUMI options
International Expandable 022020D2

International Carry-On 022560D2
Print Wikipost

Old May 8, 17, 2:03 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: EWR, BDL
Posts: 4,468
Fit for the Runway - UA FA's to new uniforms & TUMI to be official luggage provider

Don't have a link or pics to share but male FAs will be getting new uniforms designed by Brooks Brothers also no date has been announced as to when it will happen.
JOSECONLSCREW28 is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 2:11 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,918
hmmm....because crew uniforms are the most pressing problem faced by United today?

I can think of countless things the company should be investing in before new uniforms, which are not that old to begin with.
bocastephen is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 2:46 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2,972
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
hmmm....because crew uniforms are the most pressing problem faced by United today?

I can think of countless things the company should be investing in before new uniforms, which are not that old to begin with.
How much time and money do you think is being invested in new uniforms and what could that time and money be used for instead?
fly18725 is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:02 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,328
United missed an opportunity to improve employee morale and create a more premium brand feel when it punted on the first post-merger inflight uniforms. This is a step in the right direction, and likely in the works for quite some time.
EWR764 is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:04 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: UA/CO GS, PP, MM
Posts: 349
Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
How much time and money do you think is being invested in new uniforms and what could that time and money be used for instead?
Yes I always love these comments that when something good is being done that instead something else should be done. Adds so much value.
Eadward is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:07 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,060
Will they be any different from today where they just take their jacket off and wear a white short sleeve shirt?

Who needs an update are the guys on TG. Their jackets make me think of the hosts at a country club dining room in the 90s.
JVPhoto is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:10 pm
  #7  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA Gold/MM, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,445
FWIW, there were some uniform updates since last summer, with the roll out of the checker shirts, as well as tartan ties and scarfs for FAs. This is in addition to new blue jackets for GAs as well as black suits for GS agents.

Presumably this project will hopefully come to fruition, as opposed to the implosion with the last celebrity-designer working with UA (anyone remembered Cynthia Rowley?).
PTahCha is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:20 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,309
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
hmmm....because crew uniforms are the most pressing problem faced by United today?

I can think of countless things the company should be investing in before new uniforms, which are not that old to begin with.
So investing in their people isn't a worthwhile investment?

Your logic is along the same line that people use when an airline introduces a special color scheme or improves something in First Class but not in coach (love reading FB comments of people whining about stuff like that). Spend the money somewhere else....even though in reality its not like they are taking millions of dollars at the expense of new planes or seats. Uniforms wear out and UA is in the process of updating its overall image. When all is said and done (fittings, testing, etc.) it will be 2020 before "Uniform Day one"....which is like 7+ years from when the current uniform was rolled out.

After years of trying to run CO dba UA using the same tired copy/paste of "clean, safe, reliable" they finally are trying to break free and this is just a component of it. The current uniforms still reflect the years of a horrible post-merger operation and reek of Jeffy. I cringed whenever I saw the video debut of the uniforms and heard Dave Hilfman (VP Sales) try and convince those in attendance that these were the "most stylish" uniforms of any airline.
For reference:

The current design comes courtesy Cintas. UA had Cynthia Rowley designing the uniforms....then they decided to give her the boot because she wouldn't compromise on material quality. Which essentially sent a message to employees that they weren't worth the investment.....and with all of the issues they ended up having with poor fit, quality, etc, they probably spent more trying to correct the problems then they would have originally.


Incidentally, female uniforms will be designed by Tracy Reese, and Ramp/Tech Ops will be Carhartt.

Last edited by qukslvr619; May 8, 17 at 3:25 pm
qukslvr619 is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:24 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: InTransit
Programs: HiltonHonors, IHG Hotels, DL Skymiles
Posts: 2,052
Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 View Post
Don't have a link or pics to share but male FAs will be getting new uniforms designed by Brooks Brothers also no date has been announced as to when it will happen.
------

What does that mean, that the female flight attendants are still stuck with those cheap looking, ugly, frumpy Cintas (janitor) uniforms ? United FA's look just awful compared to all the other airlines, I can't think of one exception (well maybe the Southwest Home Depot look). The ground staff uniforms are just as bad if not worse. United should have been listening to all the objections from employees from the very beginning but I guess they were/ are still in a dumb-down mode. If they kept Brookhurst at the merger, this would not have happened.
FlyingNone is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:25 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,918
Originally Posted by qukslvr619 View Post
So investing in their people isn't a worthwhile investment?...
The uniforms were just refreshed a few years ago - so no, it's not a worthwhile investment at this point, and IIRC, don't the employees need to buy their own uniforms?

Unless the uniforms are being brought up to specifications of global flag carrier standards, I would rather see investments made in product - from my experiences this year, they are so far behind Delta at this point, I can't tell if I am flying a global premium airline with high product standards, or a discount carrier.

A more important investment is technology and tools - another area where United falls dramatically behind Delta. Why not equip employees with more advanced and useful tools to help them do their jobs and deliver on these new service promises? Isn't that a more useful investment in "people"?
bocastephen is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:37 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: UA/CO GS, PP, MM
Posts: 349
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The uniforms were just refreshed a few years ago - so no, it's not a worthwhile investment at this point, and IIRC, don't the employees need to buy their own uniforms?

Unless the uniforms are being brought up to specifications of global flag carrier standards, I would rather see investments made in product - from my experiences this year, they are so far behind Delta at this point, I can't tell if I am flying a global premium airline with high product standards, or a discount carrier.

A more important investment is technology and tools - another area where United falls dramatically behind Delta. Why not equip employees with more advanced and useful tools to help them do their jobs and deliver on these new service promises? Isn't that a more useful investment in "people"?
"global premium carrier with high product standards" - LOL... Nice strawman. Everyone knows that's not the case.

I'm all for giving the FA a classy outfit. Might make them happy and might help improve the service attitude, which continues to be a big part of the problem. Even if it does a little bit in that direction, its a worthwhile investment.
Eadward is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:38 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: BDL/BOS
Programs: UA/*A Gold, Global Entry, Marriott Plat, Hilton+IHG Gold, Hertz PC, DL
Posts: 1,637
slight fashion improvement over cintas. good call by UA.
riphamilton is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:45 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,309
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The uniforms were just refreshed a few years ago - so no, it's not a worthwhile investment at this point, and IIRC, don't the employees need to buy their own uniforms?

Unless the uniforms are being brought up to specifications of global flag carrier standards, I would rather see investments made in product - from my experiences this year, they are so far behind Delta at this point, I can't tell if I am flying a global premium airline with high product standards, or a discount carrier.

A more important investment is technology and tools - another area where United falls dramatically behind Delta. Why not equip employees with more advanced and useful tools to help them do their jobs and deliver on these new service promises? Isn't that a more useful investment in "people"?
FA's are given a certain number of points, that can then be used towards the purchase of the different uniform pieces. Anything beyond the allotted points, comes out of pocket. And again by the time the new uniforms rollout it will be about 8 years which isn't all that different from DL or other carriers uniform cycles. CO had a few updates but their uniform was 15+ years old.

I would agree with you that DL is probably stronger on the international product side with all-aisle access, and a more consistent premium offering but domestically I don't know that DL is that superior to UA. The newer F seats on UA, in my opinion, are much better than the DL seats or at least it seems like the pitch is better. And it seems that UA offers food on more flights than DL does, namely red-eye transcons. Perhaps the Express operation is better on DL in that their is more wifi, etc....but I don't know that UA is that far behind.

UA has already said that they are looking at ways to offer advanced tools for employees. I'm not sure that spending money on uniforms is going to come at the expense of additional tools. But all of the technology in the world isn't going to improve weather, ATC, or the things that the airlines can't control. There is definitely room to improve at UA, but I don't know that DL is doing that much better on the operational side....sure passing out pizzas during delays is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that they had several massive IT failures in the past year.
qukslvr619 is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:47 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by FlyingNone View Post
------

What does that mean, that the female flight attendants are still stuck with those cheap looking, ugly, frumpy Cintas (janitor) uniforms ? United FA's look just awful compared to all the other airlines, I can't think of one exception (well maybe the Southwest Home Depot look). The ground staff uniforms are just as bad if not worse. United should have been listening to all the objections from employees from the very beginning but I guess they were/ are still in a dumb-down mode. If they kept Brookhurst at the merger, this would not have happened.
All departments will be getting new uniforms. Male FAs, male CS, and male pilots will be by Brooks Brothers, Female FAs, female CS, and female pilots by Tracy Reese, and Ramp/Tech Ops/Catering from CarHartt.
DENviaLAX is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 3:59 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,918
Originally Posted by qukslvr619 View Post
FA's are given a certain number of points, that can then be used towards the purchase of the different uniform pieces. Anything beyond the allotted points, comes out of pocket. And again by the time the new uniforms rollout it will be about 8 years which isn't all that different from DL or other carriers uniform cycles. CO had a few updates but their uniform was 15+ years old.

I would agree with you that DL is probably stronger on the international product side with all-aisle access, and a more consistent premium offering but domestically I don't know that DL is that superior to UA. The newer F seats on UA, in my opinion, are much better than the DL seats or at least it seems like the pitch is better. And it seems that UA offers food on more flights than DL does, namely red-eye transcons. Perhaps the Express operation is better on DL in that their is more wifi, etc....but I don't know that UA is that far behind.

UA has already said that they are looking at ways to offer advanced tools for employees. I'm not sure that spending money on uniforms is going to come at the expense of additional tools. But all of the technology in the world isn't going to improve weather, ATC, or the things that the airlines can't control. There is definitely room to improve at UA, but I don't know that DL is doing that much better on the operational side....sure passing out pizzas during delays is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that they had several massive IT failures in the past year.
I don't fly DL internationally often, but my domestic experiences have been night and day better than UA, and food is a specific area where Delta was outshining UA by a wide, wide margin. Operationally, I just chalk it up that everyone stinks - but how they handle issues is where the airlines stand apart. On my SEA LAX segment last week where DL served a full hot lunch with two choices in a massive, tray-table-bending serving on a mainline aircraft including a 'big screen' Delta Studio for IFE, our long delayed flight was handled by proactive rebooking and protection for impacted customers while we were in the air so no one had to scramble in a panic on arrival.

Another key difference - consistency. DL crews offer a more predictable, standardized service delivery with a consistently professional if not friendly attitude while my UA experiences are completely hit and miss, running from stellar to scary.

What this tells me is Delta has invested in product, training, technology and enablement - something that UA should have in spades, but unfortunately lacks by a wide margin.

If uniforms will help close this gap, I'm all for it - but for me, I just see lipstick being applied to a you-know-what. Also, unlike the burlap sacks AA bought for its crew members, sending them into sweaty, itching fits, I don't recall much complaining from UA crews about uniform quality.
bocastephen is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: