British Airways Launches New Employee Uniforms

British Airways Launches New Employee Uniforms

32

For the first time in nearly 20 years, British Airways is rolling out new uniforms for its employees…

British Airways partners with Ozwald Boateng on uniforms

British Airways has unveiled new uniforms, created by British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng. New uniforms will eventually be rolled out to 30,000+ employees — ground operations agents and engineers will start wearing the uniforms as of spring 2023, while flight attendants, pilots, and check-in agents, will start wearing the uniforms as of summer 2023.

The collection has been under development since 2018, so this has been nearly five years in the making. According to British Airways, Boateng shadowed a number of airport roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job, and to ensure a modern British, stylish look, with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.

The uniforms take inspiration from the airline, its people, and the art of flying. There’s an airwave pattern featured across the entire collection, including with jackets, t-shirts, buttons, and ties. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s speedmarque.

More than 1,500 employees across the airline took part in 50 workshops to help ensure the practicality of the new uniforms, from design workshops, to prototype feedback, to garment trials. The airline has been secretly testing these uniforms over the past six months. Flight attendants and pilots have been wearing these uniforms on cargo flights across Europe, while engineers have been secretly wearing the new uniforms while maintaining aircraft out of sight of the public.

Here’s how British Airways CEO Sean Doyle describes these new uniforms:

“Our uniform is an iconic representation of our brand, something that will carry us into our future, representing the very best of modern Britain and helping us deliver a great British original service for our customers. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”

Below are some pictures of the new uniforms.

New British Airways uniforms
New British Airways pilot uniform
New British Airways flight attendant uniform
New British Airways flight attendant uniform
New British Airways ground agent uniform
New British Airways engineering uniform

Below you can also see a video about the new uniforms, where Ozwald Boateng also explains his inspiration for the new look.

My take on British Airways’ new uniforms

What do I think of the new British Airways uniforms? Well, what I care most about is what British Airways employees think:

  • The single greatest thing that can come from new uniforms is that employees feel a sense of pride wearing them, feel good in them, and are comfortable
  • It’s not just about how the uniforms look, but also about how they feel — are they comfortable, are employees having skin or other reactions to them (as we’ve seen at some other airlines), etc.?

I’m happy to see that British Airways has put considerable thought into comfort, durability, and testing. We’ve seen some disastrous new uniform rollouts in the past, so hopefully that can be avoided here. Then again, I’m pretty sure those airlines also claimed to have done extensive testing, so who knows.

As far as my take on the new uniforms goes, I think they look stylish and modern, and at the same time won’t rock the boat too much. It sure seems to me like the male flight attendant uniform at least borrows some inspiration from Virgin Atlantic’s uniforms.

While I do like these uniforms, I’m oddly not sure that I prefer them to the old ones. I always think of British Airways as being such a traditional company, and while the old uniforms had been around for roughly 20 years, I also consider them to be pretty timeless. Is it just me?

Current British Airways flight attendant uniforms

Bottom line

British Airways will be rolling out new employee uniforms over the coming months, designed in partnership with Ozwald Boateng. The new uniforms are much more modern than the old ones, which had been around for nearly 20 years. However, I’m not sure which I prefer. Here’s to hoping that British Airways employees like the way these uniforms look and feel.

What do you make of British Airways’ new uniforms?

Conversations (32)
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.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Saint82 Guest

    Is the lady in the first photo Kari Lake?

    I hear she’s going to take the uniform issue to the Supreme Court.

  2. Jeb Guest

    Disappointing, and uninspired detailing. These uniforms remind me of AA’s frugal looking ones.

  3. Chris Guest

    BA uniforms made each worker so Elegant specially the ladies as flights Attendant ✈! Congratulations BA. Chris

  4. XPL Diamond

    "Flight attendants and pilots have been wearing these uniforms on cargo flights..."

    Today I learned that cargo flights have flight attendants.

  5. Former Crew Guest

    I briefly worked for BA as cabin crew back in early 2018 (left because of the appalling working conditions and miserable pay) and even back then the chatter was that the new uniform was about to drop and that a RENOWNED British fashion powerhouse had been involved in the project (tartan scarfs anyone?)

    Wearing the current uniform probably is to this day the ugliest I’ve ever seen myself. Felt like a 1990’s American suburban...

    I briefly worked for BA as cabin crew back in early 2018 (left because of the appalling working conditions and miserable pay) and even back then the chatter was that the new uniform was about to drop and that a RENOWNED British fashion powerhouse had been involved in the project (tartan scarfs anyone?)

    Wearing the current uniform probably is to this day the ugliest I’ve ever seen myself. Felt like a 1990’s American suburban dad commuting to the office. These new uniforms are not great, but trust me when I tell you they are BADLY needed.

  6. Stevenwuk Guest

    Ironic that Oswald worked with Virgin decades ago when he was cutting edge (my dad still
    Uses the amenity kit he did for Virgin) - now Boateng’s joined the traditional brand and produced a dull AA/generic vibe indeed. Shame for BA - what happened to our Saville Row heritage?

    1. Huhus Guest

      It's like putting lipstick on a pig. I'd rather they spend more training their cabin crews on customer service.

  7. Neil O'Reilly Guest

    Please note, the correct spelling of the designer is “Boateng”. It is misspelled in the title of the article and a few other places.

  8. Debra M Casillas Guest

    Is it just me? Or do they have an "American Airlines" vibe to them?

  9. Petter Guest

    The airlines are making too high profits these days by investing in new uniforms. Look at your flight totals, they have jacked high after the covid crisis. Some airports still remain with lower surcharges, while the ticket totals are jumping sky-high. This is all due to governmental financing throughout the pandemic..

  10. WW Guest

    The uniforms are just AWFUL; only worthy of some low-cost airline. Gone is that sharp, business, professional look; now it's a causal badly-tailored shirt/jumpsuit/skirt combo with some sort of neck-scarf (Which will no doubt be dangling into someone's soup, while serving....... and reminiscent of boy-scout scarf woggles.) Black on black with a red neck-scarf; not very eye-catching, nor cohesive.

    1. vlcnc Guest

      My man, have you flown BA in the last 20yrs? The badly tailored one was the awful Julien MacDonald one this is replacing lol.

  11. Peter Guest

    Wish they'd invest in more backroom staff. The crazy amount of time I've spent on hold with their lost luggage call centre over the past few weeks is ridiculous. And I've had no response to any email complaints regarding lost luggage nor delayed flights and compensation.
    Hopefully new uniforms will improve the mood of their grumpy miserable cabin crew

  12. Donna Diamond

    Well done! A big improvement over the past product at least for the flight attendants, the uniforms I notice the most.

  13. John Guest

    The new female flight attendant uniform in the first picture reminds me of Etihad’s uniform.

  14. shoeguy Guest

    An improvement over the current ones, but still boring, uninspiring, and lacking in any style or imagination. Staid, just like the BA brand.

  15. Duck Ling Guest

    Crucial will be the quality of manufacturing going forward. Many of the BA crew that have seen the new uniform have commented on 'oh but you should see the texture/quality'.

    And this was also true of the current uniform. I wore it when it was first introduced to BA and it was such high quality material and textile manufacturing.

    But...over the years BA obviously decided to cut the costs of reproducing it and the material...

    Crucial will be the quality of manufacturing going forward. Many of the BA crew that have seen the new uniform have commented on 'oh but you should see the texture/quality'.

    And this was also true of the current uniform. I wore it when it was first introduced to BA and it was such high quality material and textile manufacturing.

    But...over the years BA obviously decided to cut the costs of reproducing it and the material and craftmanship became cheaper and cheaper until it just felt like wearing polyester.

    I think the current uniform is classic and timeless and personally would prefer BA had spent the money on better IT than a new uniform.

    1. vlcnc Guest

      From a passenger perspective they looked dated and ill-fitting. You need a tailor like Boateng to design these things - the previous uniform was designed by Julien MacDonald a z-tier fashion designer more accutomed to creating sparkly dresses and with no record of menswear designing.

    2. Duck Ling Guest

      It has nothing to do with the tailoring if the company then decides to reduce the reproduction budget to a cheaper fabric with a cheaper manufacturer.

      It is also worth mentioning that BA has NEVER allowed individual tailoring in terms of alterations on uniform items. Which was hugely frustrating. I would have loved to have gone to a tailor and had my uniform more 'fitted' but it was not allowed.

    3. vlcnc Guest

      I agree how it is implemented is important especially in terms of quality of fabrics and production but in terms of the default design tailoring does matter for the master design. Tailoring is a unique skill in clothing seprate from fashion. A tailor can do fashion but rarely the other way around.

      Also you don't have to have bespoke adjustments if you have a wide enough range of size options. Boateng is a big name...

      I agree how it is implemented is important especially in terms of quality of fabrics and production but in terms of the default design tailoring does matter for the master design. Tailoring is a unique skill in clothing seprate from fashion. A tailor can do fashion but rarely the other way around.

      Also you don't have to have bespoke adjustments if you have a wide enough range of size options. Boateng is a big name with strong prestige so I suspect he will want this implemented well with his name attached to it and will have designed around the limitations of a uniform application like this. Someone like Julien MacDonald did not have experience when he designed that uniform previously and also was relatively new and young as well as not being a tailor.

    4. vlcnc Guest

      Also looks like staff WILL be able to book a fitting to tailor their look more bespokely as per BBC:
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64184902

  16. vlcnc Guest

    I think these are a vast improvement to what they had. The previous uniforms looked so cheap, uncouth and ill fitting - women in particular looked very dowdy and frumpy, like they'd rolled through the formal section of M&S. This isn't earth shattering but is sleek, futuristic and timeless - especially the women's fitted dress. The wave pattern is such a nice subtle detail that is versatile and can have many applications in the coming...

    I think these are a vast improvement to what they had. The previous uniforms looked so cheap, uncouth and ill fitting - women in particular looked very dowdy and frumpy, like they'd rolled through the formal section of M&S. This isn't earth shattering but is sleek, futuristic and timeless - especially the women's fitted dress. The wave pattern is such a nice subtle detail that is versatile and can have many applications in the coming years. The engineering overalls in particular look soooo cool - not something that much thought is given to because not immediately customer facing.

  17. KPol Guest

    It’s a uniform. Who cares about the uniform of their flight crew? Ground crew? Engineers? SMH

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      You don't care about uniforms so so so so so so much that here you are commenting about...the uniforms.

  18. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    "the male flight attendant uniform"

    It looks like the FA uniform is genderless, as I see both men and women in the pants/legged version, in the first pic.

    1. vlcnc Guest

      The video is slick but in terms of communication has done a poor job of communicating how forward + progressive it is and all the variety of options that have been created to be inclusive of the diversity within the company, including femme suits, tunics, headscarves and even jumpsuits cabin crew. If this was Virgin Atlantic they would telling us ALL about it but BA seemed to miss a trick with this and only foregrounded...

      The video is slick but in terms of communication has done a poor job of communicating how forward + progressive it is and all the variety of options that have been created to be inclusive of the diversity within the company, including femme suits, tunics, headscarves and even jumpsuits cabin crew. If this was Virgin Atlantic they would telling us ALL about it but BA seemed to miss a trick with this and only foregrounded the default tradional men's suit and women's dress.

    2. Max Guest

      That's exactly what is so good about it. They don't do it for pure virtue signalling/shoveling 'equality' propaganda down our thoats, but simply because it makes sense.

    3. vlcnc Guest

      From a branding perspective it actually makes no sense to not spotlight positive things you've invested money into. I suspect the reason they haven't been is more boring - because the final versions weren't ready when the video was filmed so they didn't want up close shots of them in detail.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "They don't do it for pure virtue signalling/shoveling 'equality' propaganda down our thoats, but simply because it makes sense."

      Yeah, but who mistakes showcasing available selection, for "propaganda down our thoats (sic)"...? I'm guessing the type who screams "woke!" at anything they don't like, but who knows.

      Definitely a missed opportunity, especially seeing as they likely spent major money on this launch.

    5. vlcnc Guest

      Yeah definitely. I can't wait to see it in action though - especially the jumpsuit. These feels like positive and premium statement of intent. Alongside DO&CO catering, complimentary snack for economy short haul and Tom Kerridge BoB, BA is on the up!

  19. Duck Ling Guest

    So so boring. Especially as this uniform has been YEARS in the making and with so much suspense.

    It looks like a uniform bank branch employees would wear in 1997.

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.

TravelinWilly Diamond

You don't care about uniforms so so so so so so much that here you are commenting about...the uniforms.

5
Duck Ling Guest

It has nothing to do with the tailoring if the company then decides to reduce the reproduction budget to a cheaper fabric with a cheaper manufacturer. It is also worth mentioning that BA has NEVER allowed individual tailoring in terms of alterations on uniform items. Which was hugely frustrating. I would have loved to have gone to a tailor and had my uniform more 'fitted' but it was not allowed.

2
Duck Ling Guest

Crucial will be the quality of manufacturing going forward. Many of the BA crew that have seen the new uniform have commented on 'oh but you should see the texture/quality'. And this was also true of the current uniform. I wore it when it was first introduced to BA and it was such high quality material and textile manufacturing. But...over the years BA obviously decided to cut the costs of reproducing it and the material and craftmanship became cheaper and cheaper until it just felt like wearing polyester. I think the current uniform is classic and timeless and personally would prefer BA had spent the money on better IT than a new uniform.

2
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,988,713 Miles Traveled

29,627,500 Words Written

32,815 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT