Delta Unveils New Employee Uniform Prototypes: Meh, I Think?

Delta Unveils New Employee Uniform Prototypes: Meh, I Think?

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Delta Air Lines has just unveiled a prototype of its new employee uniforms. This represents a massive change for the carrier’s branding, though don’t expect this will be rolled out on a widespread basis anytime soon.

A first look at new Delta employee uniforms

After more than 18 months of development and design, Delta has released prototypes of its all-new, modern, and “distinctly Delta” uniform collection.

Let me first emphasize that these are just prototypes for now. As of the fall of 2024, Delta will begin extensive wear testing for each uniform garment, giving employees the opportunity to continue to influence the fit, form, and function, of the new collection. The uniforms aren’t expected to be rolled out on a widespread basis in the next few years, so this is truly looking to the future, and a very long term project.

New Delta employee uniform prototypes

The airline states that these uniforms were created with feedback from the company’s 70,000 uniformed employees, including airport customer service agents, cargo agents, flight attendants, ground equipment mechanics, and aircraft technicians. As you can tell, there are no new pilot uniforms yet, but that’s expected in the future as well.

Delta has partnered with GPS Apparel by Gap Inc. to bring the new prototype collection to life. Through job shadows, focus groups, surveys, and interviews, the team at Gap Inc., collected feedback from more than 20,000 employees on future uniform designs. That feedback is being used to create prototypes that are comfortable yet elevated, modern yet durable, and above all, functional.

Delta describes the new uniforms as being anchored in deep navy blues and rich burgundy, with accents of bright red and white, representing a return to a more classic color palette inspired by Delta’s brand identity and heritage.

Designers also incorporated the iconic widget logo across the collection, in ways that are both obvious and subtle. This has been a part of Delta’s branding as far back as 1959. The airline states that this widget represents the spirit and culture of Delta — the flat base symbolizes the airline’s solid foundation, while the top portion points skyward, a reminder to always keep climbing.  

New Delta employee uniform prototype
New Delta employee uniform prototype

Here’s how Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s SVP of Customer Experience Design, describes the new uniform:

“Delta has tens of thousands of uniformed employees, all with different needs and preferences. That means any evolution of the uniform program will take time and deliberation to get right. We are committed to using this time to listen, learn and iterate as we work toward a new look – one that reflects and celebrates who we are as Delta.” 

My take on Delta’s new employee uniforms

It’ll be years until we see these uniforms on Delta employees on a widespread basis, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some design changes made before they’re rolled out (both in terms of aesthetics and comfort). For those not familiar with Delta’s current uniforms, the airline uses “passport plum,” which is quite distinctive.

Current Delta employee uniforms

What’s my take on Delta’s new uniform prototypes? Admittedly new uniforms can take some getting used to, but I can’t help but feel that they look sort of retro, and not in a “timeless elegance” kind of way. Some of the pieces even look more like costume pieces rather than uniform pieces, in my opinion.

In fairness, it seems the change in colors is part of a much larger rebranding for the company. We know that Delta is planning on refreshing the interiors of its jets, with darker and more neutral colors. I can appreciate how the new uniform prototypes would match that better, compared to the current purple.

So while my initial impressions is that I don’t particularly like these uniforms, I also acknowledge that they may look great in person, and/or it might just be that they take some getting used to. Furthermore, what matters most about new uniforms is how Delta employees feel. If they like them, that’s what matters most.

Bottom line

Delta has rolled out prototypes of its new employee uniforms, which are really only in the early stages of development, and won’t be rolled out for years. Delta is ditching its heavy use of purple, and is instead going with a more traditional design. While the current uniform feels modern, I can’t help but feel like the new uniform prototypes feels quite classic.

What do you make of Delta’s new uniform prototypes?

Conversations (49)
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  1. Sue Reed Guest

    Delta has seriously missed the mark with its current and upcoming uniforms. They are hideous. Color and style don’t look good on anyone and they’re not at all professional.

  2. Stephen Granfield Guest

    They are basically using the same color theme that Ralph Lauren used with his revolutionary for the time, military style uniform in Midnight blue with maroon and white in beautiful materials in 1978. It was a classic.

  3. Fkygirl Guest

    Seriously? Safety, anyone? That floppy dress. Comfort? No scarves.

  4. Frequent flier Guest

    What’s with the denim dress look? Too casual and looks like a budget airline uniform. Also, many cabin crew fully fill out their uniforms. They need to make uniforms that are flattering on those who are fit and unfit alike or adhere to stricter physical fitness standards.

  5. David King Guest

    Why don't you just put a tent on the women or a burka it would have the same effect and it would still be hideous

  6. Andrew Guest

    Those are hideous. It looks like Little house on the Prairie, if the Prairie was a 1980’s costume in an off broadway production of Oklahoma!

  7. John S Guest

    ANA and JAL both set the standard for F/A uniforms. Tailored, stylish and sharp!

  8. a supersonic fruit Guest

    Agree with most of the comments. I think Delta's previous designs were more aspirational. The menswear especially looked far nicer than this. The change to a double breasted suit jacket is a head scratcher for me. I think the colors are fine, the purple didn't really fit with the brand though I liked it in contrast with the gray especially on the men's outfits. It just feels as though almost every piece in this collection...

    Agree with most of the comments. I think Delta's previous designs were more aspirational. The menswear especially looked far nicer than this. The change to a double breasted suit jacket is a head scratcher for me. I think the colors are fine, the purple didn't really fit with the brand though I liked it in contrast with the gray especially on the men's outfits. It just feels as though almost every piece in this collection is trying to be different on purpose (in terms of its form or fit) from both its predecessor and competitors, without regard to how elegant it will look. I don't love it.

  9. Jordan Guest

    Overall that dress is fugly. Absolutely hideous. Nothing functional about a flowing skirt and a tight collar. It looks uncomfortable and it’s just not fashionable. Not to mention the social aspect of being absurdly conservative in an offensive and regressive handmaid’s tale kind of way. It infuriates me. I don’t want to work for a company that makes their people dress like that; this is not a theocracy and we certainly should avoid the appearance...

    Overall that dress is fugly. Absolutely hideous. Nothing functional about a flowing skirt and a tight collar. It looks uncomfortable and it’s just not fashionable. Not to mention the social aspect of being absurdly conservative in an offensive and regressive handmaid’s tale kind of way. It infuriates me. I don’t want to work for a company that makes their people dress like that; this is not a theocracy and we certainly should avoid the appearance of one. I'm so heated over this.

  10. vlcnc Guest

    It feels more on brand than the "passport plum" ones but the execution looks very dated, dowdy and particularly frumpy for the women's ones.

  11. digital_notmad Diamond

    gonna be hella funny when a tedious simpleton effs around and finds out on a blog the same way they did to get themselves sh*tcanned from DL in the first place :')

  12. ZTravel Gold

    Unrecognizable. Not elegant. A step in the wrong direction. Definitely they don’t give the “premium” vibe!

    Agree with the comments here, no bueno! Use other airlines uniform like AF or keep and improve the current one.

    I’d rather they reallocate this research $Millions to improving their soft product (service, catering, amenity kits) and their route network. Who’s approving these initiatives!!?

  13. sullyofdoha Guest

    It looks like they came from an early 1980's music video. Grody to the MAX!!!!!!!

  14. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    The folds on the front of the dresses, seem quite impractical: they can easily catch/tear on a cart, or galley equipment, or worse.

    I'd be somewhat surprised if that sticks around, after real-world testing.

    1. J. Mayoral Guest

      I am not an employee but I agree with this statement.

    2. Elle V. Guest

      I agree, I doubt the draped folds on the dress will stick around. And the denim colour with white stitching screams 70's - and not in a good way.

  15. DrNo Guest

    I think a Disney Theme park designed the uniforms.

    1. Jordan Guest

      Don’t get me started on the new wave of ugly and uninspired uniforms at Disney.

  16. derek Guest

    If I were Delta, I'd try to save money by partnering with another airline and use the same design. Air France, Aeromexico, Aerolineas Argentinas are all reasonable possibilities. China Airlines isn't bad either but Delta FA's sometimes have fat arms, which look terrible with the short sleeve China Airlines female uniform.

  17. BradStPete Diamond

    If you can possibly stand a comment from the old guy.... when I flew for PA (look it up, kids) the woman wore the most ridiculous hats, our uniforms were sharp but not after 12 hours. Oh No, hot and uncomfortable.
    Please give the crews (in flight and ground) COMFORTABLE and STYLISH garments. It really can be done. I hope....

  18. Ben Guest

    They look awful who designed them Oshkosh Bogosh ?

  19. Marsha Guest

    A majority of people show respect to a uniform.
    Make it look like a uniform that you would be proud to wear. You should not blend in with John Q Public.

  20. 9volt Gold

    The denim blue with white stitching is vomit inducing. Also very prudish looking. Looks like something a puritan woman would wear in the 1600s. Everything else though is… fine.

  21. JN Guest

    The new uniform looks mediocre, and so is the old one. Besides the airline quality itself, AA and UA uniforms look better.

  22. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Gary covered this already, the comments are pretty much the same, as will be mine - with a slight addition.

    I don't care how Delta or any company dresses its employees; I care far more about a professional attitude and standardized or better service than I do about what people wear. No different from my expectations from any other company.

    Fashion is personal and people's perception of it is personal and individualized. I would not...

    Gary covered this already, the comments are pretty much the same, as will be mine - with a slight addition.

    I don't care how Delta or any company dresses its employees; I care far more about a professional attitude and standardized or better service than I do about what people wear. No different from my expectations from any other company.

    Fashion is personal and people's perception of it is personal and individualized. I would not expect even 50 Delta employees to agree on the same fashion let alone 80K employees (some of which are not uniformed). There are some "critics" that would never find anything Delta does to be good. It is a company's job to set the standards and its employees have to accept that they are not the boss no matter how much their employer wants their input.

    All I hope any company the size of Delta does is to ask their supplier to create uniforms in multiple types of fabrics. Despite all of the standardization and testing of materials, there are inevitably people that will yell that the fabric bothers them and they can't wear what the company has provided. Put them on unpaid disability or to a non-uniformed position, send them to a doctor to find out the materials that are causing the problem, and then make them wear one of the fabrics that does not have the offending material - or be fired.

    I don't care what Delta chooses and if these prototypes have anything to do with reality. I do care that they succeed at rolling out new uniforms and create standardization = and get rid of people that can't figure out how to adapt to one of several solutions.

    1. SkyFlyGirl Guest

      Already happened with the purple uniforms. Lots on disability. Poisonous dye.

  23. Lukas Diamond

    I was expecting another Tim Dunn burn. Do better, Ben!

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Give the people what they want!

  24. NedsKid Diamond

    I like them. They look professional and traditional and I really like the elements of the Delta logo. They also look practical and comfortable which is probably most important.

    1. Jordan Guest

      The dress looks *too* traditional, it will be hard to continue to hire young people if we are out here dressing like a religious compound.

  25. jetset Diamond

    I like the purple they have today honestly.

    These new uniforms are...ugly. Makes sense that the GAP was involved

    1. Jake212 Guest

      Ugh, the GAP doesn’t just force uniform designs on Delta.

      If you think the new uniforms are ugly then your issues are with Delta, not GAP. No apparel company makes a style until Delta submits their requests and signs-off on them.

      But anyone who says they like the purple uniforms has questionable fashion sense to begin with.

  26. Matt p Guest

    I think it’s boring! Not classy not sexy at all

    1. Elle V. Guest

      Is a uniform supposed to be sexy when working at an airline? I work for a company that makes airline uniforms, and I can tell you, sexy is NEVER a requirement.

  27. hbilbao Guest

    That dark blue tone is sad, sad, sad :(

  28. JBR Guest

    Got the popcorn ready waiting for the inevitable response from Tim to this heartless blog post denigerating Delta.

  29. David Guest

    Not liking it. Current ones are sharp looking. These new ones a little too country looking.

  30. Chris W Guest

    What's wrong with the current uniforms? They're only like 6 years old aren't they?

  31. Scudder Diamond

    DL does seem to change uniforms at a faster pace than other carriers.

    Are those all paid for by the company, or do employees have to fork out from that oh-so-generous profit sharing they got?

  32. Jacob Guest

    Better than silly American Airlines. At least Delta knows how to provide free Wi-Fi.

  33. lavanderialarry Guest

    Really ugly. Delta seems to waste a lot of mindshare, time, and money on changing up its uniforms, liveries (well, at least they used to, when they transitioned first to the awful 1990s "Delta", then to the "Deltaflot" which was even worse.

  34. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Delta literally just a few years ago rolled out the current uniforms and then had the pro-unionization flight attendants boycott the design by claiming it made them sick. For two or so years, maybe more, they were allowed to wear black pants and jackets. This seems like a huge waste of money. And no matter how elegant they go, there will be a large percentage of flight attendants who just wear the sweater and pants....

    Delta literally just a few years ago rolled out the current uniforms and then had the pro-unionization flight attendants boycott the design by claiming it made them sick. For two or so years, maybe more, they were allowed to wear black pants and jackets. This seems like a huge waste of money. And no matter how elegant they go, there will be a large percentage of flight attendants who just wear the sweater and pants.

    Oh yeah, Delta also just rolled out blue blazers reminiscent of security guards or museum docents for the Sky Club agents. This was done to distinguish them from flight attendants.

  35. DWT Guest

    While they’re not particularly distinctive, they look so much better than the current uniforms AA rolled out a few years ago- those don’t look much different than a generic “airline” uniform.

  36. yoloswag420 Guest

    Here before the people that only have Tim Dunn on their brain comment about him.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Nate Dyer Guest

They look great to me!

3
Tim Is So Done Guest

Like they got rid of you?

2
digital_notmad Diamond

gonna be hella funny when a tedious simpleton effs around and finds out on a blog the same way they did to get themselves sh*tcanned from DL in the first place :')

2
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