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British Airways is Making Changes to its New Uniform After Admitting it’s ‘Not Hitting the Mark’

British Airways is Making Changes to its New Uniform After Admitting it’s ‘Not Hitting the Mark’

a woman sitting in an airplane

British Airways is to make a slew of changes to its brand new uniform designed by Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng after a senior manager admitted that certain garments “are not quite hitting the mark”.

The uniform was finally rolled out last October, more than three years later than planned after the pandemic added a lengthy delay to the project. Despite the extra time to get the uniform right, the new look has received a mixed response from both staff and passengers.

Now, more than five months after staffers started to wear the new look, British Airways has admitted that “certain garments haven’t fared as well and might need some alterations”, and that changes have already been approved for several garments.

In particular, a sheer silky blouse worn by female cabin crew and ground staff will be ditched for an alternative fabric that offers “more durability”.

The blouse turned out to be so see-through that British Airways initially ordered cabin crew to wear white bras and t-shirts under the blouse, while lacy or patterned bras were discouraged because they would be easily visible to passengers.

The underwear guidance was dropped late last year after an intervention by the cabin crew union, which said that it “beggars belief” that they had to discuss the type of underwear that female crew were allowed to wear.

British Airways insisted that the guidance was just a ‘recommendation’ and that it always intended to evolve its uniform rules over time.

Suppliers have already been tapped to create samples of new blouses, as well as reworked flight crew shirts and any changes should be introduced within the next 12 months.

In the meantime, the airline says it wants to gather more feedback on the rest of the uniform with a view to making more changes. “If there are common issues, we can work with our suppliers and manufacturers to get things right,” BA’s chief people officer Lisa Tremble told staffers in a memo.

“Depending on complexity, some changes will be quicker and easier than others, so please bear with us,” Tremble continued.

Despite extensive wear tests prior to the rollout, Tremble insisted that the airline had always intended to “assess how the garments perform in the real world because it’s only when the uniform is worn over a sustained period that we can fully understand whether any changes need to be made”.

With the introduction of the new uniform, British Airways became the first airline in the world to offer cabin crew a jumpsuit option. The collection also features a dress, skirt and trousers, while male cabin crew have a new three-piece suit.

View Comments (7)
  • It’s the worst uniform they’ve ever had in their whole history. Bring back the last one as it was chic and professional

  • This cannot come fast enough, the uniforms particularly the women’s is an abomination! They are extremely ugly and are an unpleasant sight. The men’s uniform though not the best, is tolerable. I’m certain after a massive and costly uniform campaign, BA didn’t expect to modify the uniforms so quickly. I have read the comments on multiple platforms and the general consensus is bring back the previous uniform.

  • They had a beautiful uniform in the Julien MacDonald – and they went and BLEW IT by replacing it withis horrid, drab thing. WHAT were they thinking of???

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