Designer Tyler looks at one of the new uniforms he designed for Delta Airlines flight attendants in New York
Mike Segar  /  Reuters
Designer Richard Tyler looks at one of the new uniforms he designed for Delta Air Lines flight attendants as Delta's vice president for marketing Joanne Smith, right, and Delta's senior vice president for in-flight services Paulette Corvin model uniforms in New York City Jan. 25. Maybe the red outfits were chosen to assure passengers they're not flying JetBlue.
By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
updated 1/27/2006 9:36:47 AM ET 2006-01-27T14:36:47
COMMENTARY

If you ran an airline that has reported $11.6 billion in losses over the past five years and is in bankruptcy protection due to high labor costs and brutal competition from low-cost rivals, what would you do to help you shape up and fly right? Well, if you are Delta Air Lines, you throw caution to the wind and commission a new line of flight attendant uniforms.

Delta's new duds unveiled this week in New York were created by Australian fashionista Richard Tyler, who said "I designed the uniform to have timeless elegance that reminds us of the classic age of travel."

Ah, those good old days when airlines served food, arrived on time and were ... profitable.

We also applaud Delta's decision to choose bright red for the new uniforms — the color matches perfectly with the ink spewing from their financial reports.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • Need temporary help on your company's reception desk? One Japanese employment agency is suggesting you try recruiting a robot.
    HELLO KITTY ROBO
    Toshifumi Kitamura  /  AFP - Getty Images
    Visitors pick up leaflets about the Hello Kitty Robo during a robot exhibition in Tokyo last year. Now for about $450 a month, the cuddly contraption can be your official office gatekeeper. No word if batteries are included.
    For about $450 a month, a fraction of the cost of a human temp, the PeopleStaff agency will dispatch Hello Kitty Robo, a robotic receptionist capable of sensing a visitor's presence, greeting him or her and holding simple conversations.A spokeswoman for PeopleStaff said it would cost more than $2,700 a month to employ a real person for this type of work, but warned that the robots were not capable of doing everything human employees can do, presumably like lying to salesmen that you are in an important meeting and can't be disturbed.
  • We love peanuts — the real kind, shelled, roasted, salted and served straight from the can.

But we hate the other kind of peanuts — the plastic foam packing material that spills out of boxes, gets ground into the carpet, sticks to your pants leg and fills up landfills.

Planters plastic-peanut packaging
MSNBC.com
Apparently Planters' obsessive-compulsive package is designed to make you work off some calories before you can start eating the salty snacks at the center.
So it was a mixed blessing the other day when we got a press kit trumpeting the 100th anniversary of Planters nuts, the Kraft Food brand best known for its mascot Mr. Peanut with his top hat, cane and monocle.

Yes, the good people in public relations included a one-pound can of cocktail peanuts (retail value: $4) as an inducement to write about their year-long celebration, which will feature the unveiling of a human-sized statue of Mr. P. on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, N.J.

Unfortunately the small can was packed inside a giant can, which was packed in a box, which was packed in yet another box the size of a dorm-room refrigerator. And the whole thing was jammed with the abominable pink-tinged plastic packing material. If there was a hidden message here about peanuts and "peanuts," we failed to get the joke.

The snack nuts were passed around the MSNBC.com newsroom and quickly gobbled up. Those other "peanuts" will be recycled at a nearby shipping store, but we figure they'll still be with us — somewhere — for the next 20,000 years or so.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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