Brian Sumers at Skift reports on two memos that United Airlines has sent to flight attendants scolding them for their personal grooming.
United Airlines wants some flight attendants to take their wardrobes and “personal grooming” more seriously, saying crew members who wear “skirt lengths that don’t conform to the standard,” wrinkled or stained shirts, or worn-out shoes may be hurting its brand, according to two new internal memos.
United’s Vice President of Inflight says “We lost our focus on the value uniform standards have on our customers’ perception of our company.”
The reason that two memos went out is because the first one ‘was a draft’ they had to walk back, while the second one contained more “flowery language” and consulted United’s flight attendants union.
According to the airline, “When our employees feel and look their best, it makes it easier for them to deliver the top-notch service our customers deserve” and as such they’ll be holding “image fairs” at their flight attendant bases to educate employees on what to wear, and how to wear it.
There’s no question that image matters, although we often downplay the importance of appearance in the U.S. preferring to pretend we’re uninfluenced by it. We don’t take things to the lengths that Asian airlines do, like Singapore Airlines teaching precision in how meals are served,
They start laying down servingware “inside out” — serving a window seat passenger that means placing items first by the window, placing one item precisely on the tray at a time and ensuring that Singapore logos face the passenger. Then they switched to a middle seat passenger in the same aisle which meant laying things down in the precise opposite direction.
They practiced asking a passenger if they’d like bread and they practiced pouring champagne.
Now that United will be feeding passengers again they want flight attendants to look the part, too.