APA spokesman Dennis Tajer tells Thrillist that the number of pilots complaining of symptoms has now crested 200, up from yesterday's reports. “A lot more pilots are starting reach out on their own,” complaining of “major issues,” he said. “The media attention has caused a doubling in pilot reports.”
This situation strikes a similar chord to last December, when American Airlines flight attendants were given new uniforms that subsequently made them sick. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) also called for a total recall of 70,000 uniforms after 1,600 flight attendants complained of falling ill last year. That number has since surpassed 3,000, according to Tajer.
The uniforms distributed to American Airlines pilots were manufactured by Twin Hill, a unit of Tailored Brands Inc., based in Houston. The manufacturer says it’s conducted tests on the uniforms -- which are assembled in different parts of Asia -- in partnership with the airline, and so far nothing has been determined as the cause of the bizarre reactions. Last year, the airline claimed three rounds of testing yielded nothing abnormal about its uniforms. A spokesman for the garment maker said in a statement: "Six months following the initial claims from the flight attendants union, we have yet to receive any medical or scientific evidence indicating there is anything unsafe about the uniforms."