Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
10. Hawaiian Airlines – Honolulu, Hawaii
NEW ENTRY: This may not be a likely choice to make a Top Ten list for the World’s Best Cabin Crew Uniforms but the new Hawaiian Airlines uniform really does stand out. Designed by Sig Zane the uniform features lehua blossom and ‘ohe kapala (bamboo stamp) prints which vary in size across the collection. The uniform is said to represent the idea of Kū Mākou, or Together We Stand and was rolled out to the airline’s 5,000 frontline employees in late November 2017.
9. LATAM – Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil
NEW ENTRY: When Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM Airlines merged to become LATAM, it was down to celebrated Brazilian fashion designer Pedro Lourenço to create a new look for the airline’s 23,000 cabin crew. Lourenço has done a good job in creating a look which really exudes the new brand identity of the merged LATAM. It’s not the most exciting uniform in the world but there are some nice touches that make it right on trend.
8. Qantas – Mascot, Australia
LAST YEAR: 5th – First unveiled in 2013, the Martin Grant-designed Qantas uniform still looks “fresh, modern and bold” – Just as Grant had intentioned. The ruby red and fuchsia pink colour blocking are nice but elements of the uniform might not wear so well with time. This look may well be in need of an update in the next few years.
7. Alitalia – Rome, Italy
NEW ENTRY: Unveiled in June 2016, the Alitalia uniform featuring striking red and burgundy colours was designed by Milan-based Haute couturier Ettore Bilotta. The ‘Alitalia Collection’ was bankrolled by Etihad Airways before the Abu Dhabi-based airline pulled the plug on funding the loss-making Italian airline.
The expensive designer uniform was handmade by a team of nearly 500 throughout Italy. Worn by over 3,600 cabin crew the uniform may not be around for much longer – a few months ago, the bankrupt Alitalia said it would invest in yet another new designer uniform to replace its current look.
6. Norwegian – Fornebu, Norway
NEW ENTRY: Who would expect this look from a low-cost airline? However, it’s only Norwegian’s long-haul uniform which makes the grade for this list. Cabin crew on Norwegian’s short-haul services wear a different uniform which is quite frankly bland and uninspiring.
The long-haul look, however, is both trendy and cheeky. Said to be influenced by the interior of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the ladies collection wins the day with elegant skirts and cape jackets. Cheeky details include the words “coffee”, ” or tea?” printed on the cuffs of cardigans, “come fly with me” embroidered inside the jacket collars and socks which read: “remember: toothbrush, be on time, buckle up, know your exits, enjoy the flight, have fun”.
5. Emirates – Dubai, UAE
LAST YEAR: 1st – Last year’s Number 1 uniform has slid five places in this years list. While its instantly recognisable the world over, the Emirates uniform is in desperate need of an upgrade. The beige and brown palette is more OAP than VIP, while the ‘winter coat’ which Emirates now orders its cabin crew to wear in cold conditions is anything but flattering. Combining a twee cardigan with a waistcoat is not a good look either.
4. Singapore Airways – Singapore
LAST YEAR: 2nd – Singapore Airways says the 1970’s Balmain designed kabaya look is “timeless.” We would have to agree. It’s kind of crazy to think the Singapore Girls look has been gracing the skies for nearly 50 years and yet it still looks so fresh. It doesn’t look like a particularly practical uniform but it seems to have served Singapore Airways very well over the years.
3. Delta Airlines – Atlanta, USA
LAST YEAR: 7th – When we featured this uniform last year it hadn’t even been rolled out to Delta’s cabin crew. And it still hasn’t! In that time, however, the Zac Posen designed ensemble has had over 100 alterations made based on crew feedback. We love the bold and daring design, especially considering this is a major North American airline.
The deep purple shade might seem like an unusual choice but colour experts, Pantone has chosen a very similar shade as their colour of the year 2018. Expect to see this hue in lots more places over the next 12-months.
2. Hainan Airlines – Haikou, China
NEW ENTRY: Hainan Airlines have really taken cabin crew uniforms to the next level with their Laurence Xu-designed collection of uniforms. The look is simply stunning and if the airline had a better presence in key markets, we could see this uniform being the top-rated uniform for 2018.
As it is, however, not enough people have had the opportunity to marvel that this beautiful uniform. Although we can’t help but be slightly concerned at the colour palette – we hope Hainan’s cabin crew have a dry cleaner of speed dial.
1. Etihad Airways – Abu Dhabi, UAE
LAST YEAR: 6th – Etihad has positioned itself as a stylish, boutique airline. It looks like it has really captured the public’s heart and received by far the highest number of votes in our totally unscientific poll. Designed by Italian Haute Couturier Ettore Bilotta, the uniform was first unveiled in 2014 as Etihad embarked on an ambitious rebranding of its signature look.
The uniform’s for both men and women were said to “represent timeless sophistication, glamour and elegance,” harking back to the stylish 1960’s. Expect Etihad to fine tune the uniform in 2018, with a few changes said to be in the works to bring production costs down and make it a little more practical for female cabin crew.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.