Airlines

Delta Air Lines’ new uniforms. Passport plum and all

Delta Air Lines’ 64,0000 uniformed employees will look different.

It is the new uniforms created by fashion designer Zac Posen and produced by Lands’ End that we’ve been hearing about and now get to see in the sky and in airport terminals being worn by  Airport Customer Service, Delta Cargo, In-Flight Service, Ground Support Equipment Maintenance and TechOps employees.

Delta didn’t just give Zac Posen the contract and say “Come back when you’re done.” Here’s the process the airline says it used to get from the old uniforms to here:

  • A Cross Divisional Uniform Committee made up of 24 employees from each frontline division helped guide the three-year uniform creation and development process
  • 80+ employee focus groups that Zac Posen and Lands’ End teams attended
  • 165+ changes made based on direct employee feedback
  • 73 hours spent collecting data via job shadows by Zac Posen and his design team
  • 52 stations across the globe involved in focus groups and job shadows
  • 1,000 employee wear testers who put the uniform to the test over 3 months and across 5 continents
  • 30,000+ survey responses and emails from employees
  • 64,000 uniformed employees across 300+ stations around the globe
  • 60,000+ Wings and Name Bard handmade in the U.S. by Engage2Excel
  • 200+ show options available via Zappos at Work
  • 3+ years in the making
  • 25,000+ employees fitted
  • 1.2M items were produced for the May 29 launch

Delta’s uniforms used to be navy and red. Now they’re Passport Plum – a shade said to flatter every skin tone – Cruising Cardinal, Groundspeed Graphite, Traveling Thistle and Skyline Slate – and have signature details incorporated such as a collar on the women’s blouse that is inspired by the wing of an airplane, and pockets for passports and pens.

Here’s Delta’s new in-flight safey video, with special appearances by – the new uniforms:

This summer everyone may be at the airport

The Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the busy summer travel season and it looks like a lot of people will be spending a lot of time in airports.

According to the trade group Airlines for America (A4A), a record 246.1 million passengers — an average of 2.68 million per day — are expected to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.

That number is up 3.7 percent from last year’s record of 237.3 million passengers.

Below is the group’s handy infographic that explains what’s in store.

A4A’s tally doesn’t include the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but if you’re headed to the airport this weekend keep in mind that security checkpoint lines are apt to be longer than usual (I’ve gotten a couple of  alerts from my my airline already, which makes me a bit nervous) with many kids and out-of-practice travelers in the mix.

As always, arrive early and pack your patience.

Stop harassing the flight attendants

 

We didn’t need the #MeToo movement to know that flight attendants are often subjected to verbal and physical sexual harassment on the job.

But let’s hope the #MeToo movement – and the recent survey of more than 3,500 flight attendants at 29 different airline by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA – puts a stop to it.

According to the study, more than two-thirds of flight attendants in the U.S. have experienced sexual harassment during their flying careers.

More than one-in-three flight attendants say they have experienced verbal sexual harassment from passengers, and nearly one-in-five have experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the last year alone.

What’s being done about it? Not enough.

While Alaska, United, and even Spirit have taken some step to address the issue, 68 percent of flight attendants say they saw no efforts by airlines to address workplace sexual harassment over the last year.

“While much of the coverage of the #MeToo movement has focused on high-profile cases in the entertainment industry and politics, this survey underscores why AFA has long been pushing to eradicate sexism and harassment within our own industry,” said Sara Nelson, AFA President. “The time when flight attendants were objectified in airline marketing and people joked about ‘coffee, tea, or me’ needs to be permanently grounded. #TimesUp for the industry to put an end to its sexist past.”

Here’s more detail from the survey results:

*35 percent of flight attendants experienced verbal sexual harassment from passengers in the last year. Of those, 68 percent faced it three or more times, and a third five or more times in the past year.

Flight attendants described the verbal sexual harassment as comments that are “nasty, unwanted, lewd, crude, inappropriate, uncomfortable, sexual, suggestive, and dirty.”

*18 percent of flight attendants experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the last year. More than 40% of those suffered physical abuse three or more times. This type of harassment included having their breasts, buttocks and crotch area “touched, felt, pulled, grabbed, groped, slapped, rubbed, and fondled” both on top of and under their uniforms. Other abuse included passengers cornering or lunging at them followed by unwanted hugs, kisses and humping.

*Only 7 percent of the flight attendants who experienced abuse have reported sexual harassment to their employer. More often, flight attendants said they respond to verbal and sexual harassment by avoiding the passenger, directly addressing the passenger about their behavior or using another method to try to diffuse or deflect the situation.

 

JetBlue delivering NY pizza – to LA!

 

 

JetBlue is kicking off a 3-day promotion (May 9 to 12) delivering pizza – by airplane – from New York to Los Angeles residents living in certain zip codes.

The promotion is limited to 350 pizzas a day and customers can order the pizza by going to the Pie in the Sky website (The site wasn’t working Wed morning; this has happened with some of their previous promotions..) to place an order and pay for the pizza ($12-15, depending on the type). JetBlue is paying for the delivery and picking up the taxes.

If you’re in Los Angeles and don’t have a chance to order a NY pizza, you can still get a free slice.

JetBlue is hosting a pizza party Wed. May 9 from noon to 3 p.m. (Or while the pizza lasts..) at Los Angeles International Airport in Terminal 5 at the JetBlue check-in desk.

In the meantime – here’s Spike Lee to tell you how to eat a New York Pizza.

 

Passenger-friendly innovations in skies now – and on the horizon

(Airbus_A320 Family Airspace interior. Courtesy Airbus)

For CNBC this week, I put together some of the most passenger-friendly, or unusual, finalists vying for this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards, which are set to be announced April 10 and often described as “the Oscars of the aviation industry.”

One of the more unusual and intriuging ideas on the list is something called a ‘Durinal,’ by Zodia Aerospace.

 

 

You know how it is: after meals and just before landing, bathroom lines get long and the lav-to-passenger ratio in the economy cabin on airplanes just seems wrong. Worse, when lavs get busy, there’s that wet floor issue that comes courtesy of the male ‘splash zone.’

The Durinal is designed to solve both problems by replacing one regular lavatory with two urinals. Durinal creator Zodiac Aerospace says installing the toilets on planes can improve lavatory “cycle time” and cut down on male use of the conventional toilets, “Thus leaving them more hygienic for the ladies.”

 

 

 

On flights that aren’t full, Zodiac Aerospace’s new Eco Zlounge concept makes it possible for passengers to stretch out with a mechanism that allows the cushion part of the seat in front of a passenger to fold down, creating more leg room.

No doubt the extra space will come with an extra cost, but on long flights passengers may be willing to pay that cost.

See more finalists in my CNBC story, here.