Sunday, March 13, 2011

Virgin Blue Uniforms a Pain in the Neck

If it’s not hard enough already being a flight attendant, now Virgin Blue staff have to attend stylish but troublesome new uniforms.
The new uniforms seem to be a big hit with everyone – except, apparently, those poor staff members who have to wear them.

Last weekend Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph got hold of an internal email that revealed staff at the airline have been suffering from “very painful” rashes after wearing the uniforms. They have been advised to wash their uniforms with fabric softener before putting them on.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has received at least four complaints from Virgin Blue staff since the uniforms were unveiled three weeks ago, the newspaper revealed.

Launched in a fanfare of publicity by Elle Macpherson, the uniforms were designed by Project Runway’s Juli Grbac. But they use a lot of polyester, including a 100% polyester lining.

The paper quoted a male staff member, who spoke anonymously, saying how the polyester-blend fabric of the new shirts gave him repeated rashes on his neck. He claimed the uniforms “suffocate” the wearer.

Others expressed doubts about their suitability in an emergency, with a female flight attendant saying the uniform wouldn’t let her lift her arms above her shoulder – and wondering how polyester would perform in a fire.