Discrimination on the runway: Delta’s uniform sizing

Delta is under fire from its new partner Northwest Airlines due to what they claim is weight discrimination. Delta’s signature bright red dress, which debuted on the NY runways in 2005 and hit the airways in 2006, only comes in up to size 18.

“Red is a color that attracts attention and someone, somewhere has made a decision that they don’t want to attract attention to someone in a dress that’s larger than a size 18,” says Patricia Reller, vice chair of the Northwest flight attendants’ union’s grievance committee. “I’m very offended by it,” she adds.

The committee also filed complaints in regards to Delta’s “requirement that flight attendants who wear orthopedic shoes must wear slacks and not a skirt or dress. Those that wear the orthopedic shoes must obtain a doctor’s note,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Designer of the red dress, Richard Tyler (pictured), was reportedly envisioning the flights of yore, when everyone dressed up to fly, and well … apparently when flight attendants wore heels and were under size 18. Delta, whose flight attendants have no union, claims that there are plenty of options for fuller figured employees, including slacks, skirts, and other dresses.

Because Northwest’s flight attendants have a union, this merger may mean a lot of changes for Delta.

Check out this video of Delta giving the Northwest Airlines employees their fittings:

We rolled out the red carpet in Minneapolis / St. Paul to celebrate the completion of our style clinics for our Northwest flight attendants. The clinics gave attendants a first hand look and feel of Delta’s uniforms: The Richard Tyler Collection. Celebrity designer, Richard Tyler, was on-hand to provide custom style consultations to the flight attendants.” — the YouTube caption, via DeltaAirLines.

Style clinics?? What do you think?

Further reading: Our resident flight attendant Heather Poole has “a thing for airline uniforms.” Read here!


[via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]