Air Canada Gets Mixed Feedback on Hat Heavy New Uniform Launch

Air Canada Flight Attendants
Air Canada’s new flight attendants get some new uniforms thanks to Air Canada Rouge’s (it’s new low-cost brand) launch this summer. Thousands of Facebook users are taking this opportunity to share their positive, and not so positive, feedback about Air Canada and the uniforms. Here are select few of the most recent public comments from the Facebook thread:


“Wow! Two of the three are missing their luggage already. Par for the course!”

“The hats are silly. Air Canada would get more customers by forcing Aeroplan to get rid of that incredibly customer unfriendly 7 year expiry on Aeroplan points.”

“Minus the hats, they look like Catholic High School kids.”

When I first saw this photo in a Facebook message from a friend, I thought for a moment that it was for some kind of pop music video involving air travel and an A Capella group.  To my surprise, this is a photo of the newest Air Canada uniforms that are being introduced … which I think were found in my great grandfathers lost suitcase from 1935.
I took a couple of minutes to import all of the Facebook comments into Wordle so that we could all get a better look at the overall themes emerging based on descriptive words only. Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Air Canada New Uniforms Wordle

There are so many types of research that could have been done, and may have been done, to determine what these uniforms should look like. I would love to know what research was done because I can’t help but feel based on the comments I’ve read, that they didn’t quite get the design right. This is definitely an instance where I would have recommended some crowdsourcing for insights from frequent travellers, current Aeroplan cardholders, and definitely some fashion designers.

An article in the Globe and Mail points out that “cost savings” were behind every decision regarding the new uniforms. Unfortunately for Air Canada, making costs and value your number one priority isn’t actually going to make your customers happier in the long-run, improve your brand reputation – or your bottom line. Take one trip with United Airlines and you’ll know exactly what “cost savings” leads to. Brands need to start recognizing who their new generation of customers are and that they want more of a brand connection than just value. Good research can save brands from 5-year disasters like these uniforms.

(Take a quick look at our Millennial segments for more information on what that generation wants.)

Honestly though, who thought the ties and hats were a good idea? I have a feeling their focus group research involved a few too many of these guys:

Look Like New Air Canada Uniforms


Sean Copeland is a certified marketing research professional (CMRP) known for his broad knowledge of the research workflow, his disruptive approach to problem solving and for building strong client relationships. In over 5 years Sean has developed, sold, executed, and managed hundreds of consumer research studies using a variety of new and traditional research methodologies.

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