Oops: American’s New Uniforms Are Causing Employees To Break Out In Hives

Filed Under: American

Last week I wrote about how American was rolling out new uniforms for their 70,000+ employees. While uniforms in and of themselves won’t change the customer experience, symbolically they represented the “new American” becoming one, since previously American and US Airways flight attendants wore different uniforms (I wish they’d have the same policy of creating a consistent experience for their cabins). šŸ˜‰

Furthermore, the new uniforms seemed to be a real point of pride for many employees, and they do look sharp. I saw a lot of employees posting pictures all over the internet in their new uniforms last week, and they seemed overwhelmingly happy with them.


Well, unfortunately it looks like not all of American’s flight attendants are happy with the new uniforms. Specifically, more than 400 American flight attendants have complained to the airline and the union about having broken out in hives and experiencing itching and headaches since they put on the new uniforms.

Per the Chicago Business Journal:

An AA spokeswoman confirmed that the company has received complaints about the new uniforms, which the company, at this juncture, believes may be related to a wool allergy among some affected employees

The spokeswoman said these employees have been given the option of getting new uniforms made out of a polyester material. But one flight attendant source said the health symptoms also appear to be occurring when employees are wearing uniform pieces made of cotton.

Ouch! For what it’s worth, American has ~25,000 flight attendants, so more than 400 flight attendants breaking out inĀ hives isn’t insignificant — that represents almost 2% of flight attendants.

Hopefully they can get this figured out…

  1. Polyester allergy – very prevalent amongst those who wear it day in and day out such as FAs. Unfortunately many cotton fabrics can also contain a small percentage of polyester for strength.

  2. @Endre & Cinti: Oh boy, do you also think that your iPhones and laptop computers are filled with asbestos? They are all made in China, after all.

    If this problem actually exists (other than in the heads of the complaining flight attendants), the one to blame here is AA for choosing unsuitable materials or not ensuring adequate quality control.

  3. I think the aa ceo should be dunked in bleach. The Chinese $uck with their own people, why would they care about Americans. The effing ceos and politicians have no problem sending jobs overseas buy something happens they want us to be patriotic.

    Eff freeloaders like trump and all Trac cutting birches like the Republicans.

  4. lol at all these anti-China comments. I mean, I’ll agree that if the outfits were sourced in the US there would probably be better labor standards and conditions…but let’s not pretend that American manufacturers wouldn’t be cost cutting using not so great chemicals or injecting polyester either. It’s not like if these were made at American Apparel that they’d be any better in quality.

    And let’s not mention that these outfits could have been made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Honduras, or a host of other countries.

  5. Ben, There is some issue visiting your site through Twitter. After I click on your links, I briefly see the article and then get redirected to random sites. Only happens with your website. Please look into it.

  6. Another likely culprit is formaldehyde, which most new clothes, fabrics, furnitures contain and emit. With clothes, washing those thoroughly before use can help.

  7. Concerned, are the site ones telling you that you’ve won a prize, game, etc? I keep getting that too and thought I was the only one. Happens on View From
    the Wing too so maybe it’s a boarding area problem?

  8. Melamine in the baby milk formula – Those Chinese, they don’t even care their own babies let alone AA flight attendants.

  9. @Concerned

    Boarding Area either uses unscrupulous ad servers or is infected with malware. This has been an issue I’ve noticed for YEARS, and it is what finally forced me to remove the domain from my adblocking whitelist, though I wish I could justify supportting them!

  10. I’ve once bought a shirt that has consistently gave me skin rash every time I wear it, despite it says its made of cotton. Just so happened its made in China like everything now a day. But I totally believe such claim from my own personal experience. I still have the shirt, but I don’t wear it unless I’m in the mood to be have skin allergic reaction.

  11. So…
    Let’s form a Union – only College degree required unions are airlines and teachers.
    Let’s complain as 400.
    So much for having an airline employee work in a clean, attractive attire.

    Does anyone read these posts?

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