Travel Etiquette: Is there a dress-code when flying?

Is there a dress-code when flying? Some may say there isn’t, where actually there very well could be.
Specifically the policy does vary by individual airline; but all usually follow the same conventions of modest clothing which is family friendly etc; but there are a few other points that I’d like to bring to your attention.

Airline employees must follow a specific dress-code when flying on standby; which usually brings in a total ban on clothing with rips or tears, shorts and flip-flops – to name a few. If they are lucky enough to be flying “towards the front” in business or first-class, employees they are expected to be smart. If not, they may run the risk of being politely asked to take a seat towards the back, or even face the ultimate horror: denied boarding. These dress codes were introduced by airlines for their employees in a way to complement the in-cabin experience, the brand, and to set an example in the hope other passengers would follow suit. But does it work?

Two of the major airlines do have Staff Travel policies where the dress code does play an important part and typically follows the brand’s values. If an employee fails to comply with this (and other stipulations) on multiple occasions – they could face having their concessions taken away from them.

Flying is a great experience and it used to be something where everyone would dress to impress. Think of the “Golden Age of Aviation” where nothing less that business-attire was the norm. Fast forward to 2016 and the experience of flying from one place to another is much more affordable and travellers are geared towards being as comfortable as possible. I’ve seen some  individuals turn up for a flight in their pyjamas before.

There is, however,  a wide debate going around. If you have paid thousands of dollars for your flight, do you think you should have the right to wear what you like?

Airlines do and have refused travel to passengers whom are wearing clothing deemed as “inappropriate:, whether it’s to do with the image, language on the garment, or even if it’s offensive to the local culture. Thankfully carriers only need to exercise this in extreme situations, as most passengers do use common sense when travelling. Just don’t show up in a bikini please.

What do you tend to wear when flying? Would you dare to wear shorts and a t-shirt in business or first-class? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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16 Comments

  1. The days of dressing up are long gone; they left when flying became less of an event and more of a trial and tribulation. So, I would wear anything I want, even if I’m in business or better. I paid for it; my choice.

  2. I agree that people tend to dress like slobs. However day your a traveling construction industry related employee with millions of butt in seat miles. Should they be required to not wear jeans and boots in first class? Just had me thinking this the other day when I was flying through DFW.

  3. I don’t care if your are flying first/biz/coach. Have alittle self respect(I think jeans are fine)But those pajama bottoms that these stupid girls wear is ridiculous. Heck I was raised to not even go anywhere in my sweatpants, unless to the gym. BTW flip flops…save those for the beach.

  4. I wear business casual when flying. But that is how I dress 90 percent of the time. I will wear jeans but they are dark blue trouser cut.

  5. I tend to fly international, and seriously people worry about yourselves and not others, I say wear what you want as long as it is not offensive or inappropriate, be comfortable but respectful, to each their own! Live life and go with the flow!

  6. I tend to think that you should fly wearing clothes that are decent, clean and comfortable. Jeans are fine, a clean t-shirt is fine. One thing to keep in mind is that while we, as passengers, have become accustomed to flying more casually, airlines have made life on a plane much less roomy or comfortable, so if you’re flying in economy, all you want is to get to your destination and wear something comfy while doing so. I would consider shorts and flip flops offensive in premium cabins, but as long as you’re clean and considerate, I probably wouldn’t give those wearing them a second thought, especially if they’re in coach.

  7. I always were causal business. Of course I am freshly showered and my clothes are clean. I completely no go for me is bar feet for men. We should never forget our enducation even we are in a plane.

  8. I roll it to the elbow in the morning, unbutton it all the way if I m really hot, and wear it at night with a nice piece of jewelry, says Nina Wennersten, a travel specialist with Hippo Creek Safaris.

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