I, for one, never thought the merger of two airlines would lead to a sartorial showdown. It would seem, however, that I would have been wrong.
Delta Air Lines recently acquired Northwest Airlines, and those NWA employees are now in need of new Delta uniforms. So far, so good.
The fuss has been raised over a red dress designed by Richard Tyler for Delta. While other uniform pieces are available up to a size 28, the sexy red wrap dress is only available up to a size 18…and a small size 18, at that.
And so it is that the Northwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has filed suit to get the red dress made available in the same range of sizes as the other uniforms flight attendants may wear.
Patricia Reller, who handles the grievances brought before the union’s executive committee is firmly of the opinion that if even one flight attendant over a size 18 wants to wear the dress, she should be able to do so. She’s also pretty sure there’s more than one woman who wants to wear it:
“If the dress wasn’t a tiny size 18, there would be less,” Reller said. “It’s a very small size 18, so that makes the numbers a lot larger.”
Of course Delta isn’t taking this lying down. Their spokeswoman, Gina Laughlin, could not explain why the dress is not available in larger sizes, but says there have been few complaints.
“The majority of pre-merger Northwest flight attendants have given us very positive feedback about the Richard Tyler Collection,” Laughlin said.
Hmmm…few complaints? Majority positive feedback? I wonder who those ‘few complaints’ came from and what the minority were unhappy about.
“The sizing of our red dress has not been an issue with Delta flight attendants since the program’s inception three years ago. This is AFA hype leading up to the election,” Laughlin said.
As for me, I think that if every other uniform piece is offered in sizes up to 28, stopping the sizes for one single popular piece at a smaller-than-average 18 is simply unfair. There just plain isn’t a good reason for denying larger employees the option of red.