Fit for the runway: We announce next generation uniforms
Today, we announced a partnership with three world-class design and apparel companies — Brooks Brothers, Tracy Reese and Carhartt — to inspire and create a new line of uniforms for the carrier's more than 70,000 front-line employees. Additionally, we will partner with TUMI, the leading international brand of premium travel, business and lifestyle accessories, to be the official luggage provider for all 24,000 of our flight attendants.
"The partners we've selected uniquely match what our employees asked for in a uniforms program — style, comfort and durability," said Kate Gebo, senior vice president of global customer service delivery and chief customer officer of United. "We recognized early on that this would not be a 'one size fits all' solution — front-line employees perform vastly different roles and deserve a uniform that meets their specific needs, created by leaders in the apparel business. Our United family is excited to see how these trusted and innovative brands will deliver world-class uniforms in close collaboration with our employees."
Committed to a best-in-class uniforms program, earlier this year we started what will be a multi-year process to ensure the proper amount of time for collaboration among employees, labor leadership and the partner brands as well as ample time to test uniforms before finalizing designs and materials. Working closely with labor leadership for all front-line teams, employee feedback will be used to inform every aspect of the design process, which will be followed by multiple thorough wear tests with employees to ensure optimal comfort and functionality of designs and materials. The process is structured to deliver comfortable, durable and fashionable uniforms that our talented aviation professionals will feel proud to wear while performing their varied roles.
Based on employee feedback from focus groups, open houses and surveys, we identified a variety of distinct brands to meet the needs of employees and help deliver the company's next- generation uniform program. Over the last several months, Tracy Reese and representatives from Brooks Brothers and Carhartt met with employees at all of our U.S. domestic hub airport locations.
United employees examine sample uniform fabric with a Brooks Brothers representative
Brooks Brothers, America's oldest apparel company, has a rich heritage dating back 199 years and is globally recognized for its innovation, quality and timeless style. Brooks Brothers will design and manufacture uniforms for all of our pilots, male flight attendants and customer service representatives.
"Brooks Brothers is proud to partner with United on this exciting initiative. We, like United, have a passion for quality, innovation and a shared commitment to create a uniform program that United's employees will be proud to wear." – Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO, Brooks Brothers
United employees pictured with fashion designer, Tracy Reese
For more than two decades, Tracy Reese has crafted joyful, feminine pieces in signature rich colors and unique prints for the modern woman. Her design philosophy is rooted in a commitment to bringing out the beauty in women of all shapes, sizes and colors. Like United, she is inspired by global cultures and travel. Reese will partner with Brooks Brothers to design uniforms for female flight attendants and customer service representatives that will be manufactured by Brooks Brothers.
"I am truly honored to embark on this journey with United. For me as a designer, there is no prouder moment than seeing amazing women wearing my designs while accomplishing the many important endeavors required of each day. I look forward to continuing the United tradition of excellence and style with some added Tracy Reese flair." – Tracy Reese
United employees check out sample Carhartt uniform fabric
For nearly 130 years, Carhartt has built reliable, durable workwear and apparel for the active and outdoors lifestyle — it is also a brand that employees identified as their preference. Carhartt will be responsible for outfitting the ramp service, technical operations and catering operations employees.
Employee apparel provider Cintas will be responsible for the distribution of Carhartt garments as well as providing a select number of employee-favored pieces.
"Carhartt was founded to serve railroad engineers with durable workwear designed to exceed their rugged requirements. Four generations later, our family-owned business still outfits hardworking people around the world. This new partnership is an incredible opportunity to outfit the men and women of United Airlines, who take on the harshest elements every day." – Mark Valade, Chairman and CEO, Carhartt
TUMI Alpha 2 luggage pictured above
Product quality and selection are key attributes that have made TUMI the leading international business, accessory and travel lifestyle brand. TUMI is the preferred luggage of many of United's premier customers, and this partnership gives employees what's known as the "TUMI Difference." All United flight attendants will receive their choice of either a two-wheel or four-wheel rollaboard bag.
"The partnership between TUMI and United Airlines expresses our shared passion in perfecting the journeys of our customers. As part of United's continued investment in its uniform program, we look forward to sharing the TUMI difference by being the sole luggage provider to the United Airlines flight attendant team." – Rob Cooper, General Manager North America, TUMI
We anticipate rolling out our new uniforms in 2020.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.
The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.
The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.