The union that represents flight attendants for Spirit Airlines is protesting the airline’s new uniforms, saying they turn wearers into walking billboards.
The in-flight aprons, which have an alcoholic beverage logo, send the wrong signal to passengers, according to the Association of Flight Attendants.
“Turning flight attendants into walking billboards is unacceptable,” AFA-CWA Spirit President Deborah Crowley said in a news release. “The proposed aprons diminish the primary and federally mandated role of flight attendants as safety professionals and our role as first responders onboard.”
The union also complains that a new series of ads the airline has launched promoting Spirit’s fares contain some “not very subtle innuendoes” that are demeaning to all flight attendants.
“I feel as though I have entered a time warp and am reliving the battles for respect and justice for women that we fought for 40 years ago,” AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend said.
The airline is defending its ads and logo saying it consulted with union officials last year and received no objections. An airline spokeswoman said Spirit has no intention of pulling either.
“Spirit’s new aprons have a small, tasteful logo that promotes a product that the airline sells onboard,” the airline wrote in a statement. “These initiatives not only support continued growth of the company, but also help keep secure jobs for our valued employees at a time when the airline industry continues to cut capacity and jobs.”
The flight attendants’ union has the backing of the Air Line Pilots Association, which put out a statement on Wednesday condemning the campaign.
“The pilots join them in demanding that this management stop these campaigns and run this company more like an airline and less like a frat house,” Capt. Sean Creed, chair of the Spirit Airlines pilots union, stated.