There's a bit of a scuffle going on at Delta right now between "big" (size 18 and over) flight attendants and the red Richard Tyler-designed flight attendant uniform. The background for this little tiff starts in 2004, when Richard Tyler was hired to make over the drab and traditionally gray uniforms for Delta. Tyler promised a classier -- and in some cases, sexier -- look for flight attendants, airport agents, and other workers. "I want them to look sexy and great, but you have to keep that classic look as well," Tyler told the Associated Press at the time. The uniforms debuted in 2006 with a range of outfits that included white blouses and navy dresses besides the infamous red dress. At the time, the collection was well received by the Delta employees. But fast forward to October 2008, when Delta acquired Northwest airlines, a union airline.
Delta is not a union airline. Pre-merger Northwest employees began wearing the Delta uniforms on March 30, and shortly thereafter, the Northwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has filed a grievance with the Delta, asking it to offer the red dress up to size 28. The union hopes the grievance will go to mediation in August. The red dress currently is only offered up to size 18, though a Delta spokeswoman said the airline offers a range of outfits in other colors and styles up to size 28 that flight attendants can wear. There are roughly 21,000 flight attendants at the combined airline --14,000 from pre-merger Delta and 7,000 from pre-merger Northwest. My guess is that Delta will indeed offer bigger sizes. I mean, come on, everyone knows the red dress is the best one!