This Airline Is Turning Travelers Away from Its Business Lounges for Wearing UGGs
United Airlines caused a major ruckus earlier this year when it refused to let tween girls who were flying as standby guests of a United employee board their flight while clad in leggings. Now, Qantas Airlines, the flag carrier of Australia, is causing a similar stir. One of its dress code guidelines banning an extremely popular fashion item from its business lounges is going viral thanks to The Human League singer Joanne Catherell, who was denied entry to a lounge in Melbourne for sporting — wait for it — UGG boots!
“Apparently UGG Boots are deemed sleepwear by the lady working there though no problem in any of the other lounges so far,” Catherell wrote after she was turned away from the lounge. “Helpfully, she suggested I go to one of the shops and purchase some shoes.”
Denied access @Qantas business class lounge in @Melair Melbourne Airport apparently Ugg (Australia) Boots are deemed sleepwear by the lady working there although no problem in any of the other lounges so far.Helpfully she suggested I go to one of the shops & purchase some shoes
— Joanne Human League (@Lubycat) December 14, 2017
The tweet was enough to cause some serious backlash for the airline, with fans sounding off about the absurdity of the rule.
— Lyndsey Fitzpatrick (@LyndseyFitz) December 15, 2017
I’m sorry but @Qantas this is pure snobbery. I always wear Ugg boots to travel in as they r so comfy & ive never not been allowed in a Lounge in America, Europe or the UK
— BettyBoo (@bettycarlyle) December 14, 2017
— Drew White 웃🎙 (@drewsonix) December 14, 2017
I had exactly the same issue just last week in Brisbane Airport! If you pay for Business Class you should be able to travel in whatever you feel comfortable in – whatever footwear you choose to wear is not going to ruin other passengers travel experience!
— Louise Bell (@LouiseBell90) December 15, 2017
— Lisa Gasometer (@MsGasometer) December 14, 2017
There were some, however, who pointed out that the rule is not a new one for the airline, with Tweets on the topic dating back to 2015.
— JT Genter (@JTGenter) December 9, 2017
— Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) June 13, 2015
Qantas too, responded to the vocalist, saying, “We endeavor to remain consistant and uphold our Lounge’s dress guidelines to all our guests. You may find details here.”
Hi Joanne, we endeavour to remain consistent and uphold our Lounge's dress guidelines to all our guests . You may find details here: https://t.co/oiCgy2V1jR. Mark
— Qantas (@Qantas) December 14, 2017
Sure enough, the airline’s official dress guidelines, which were updated in April 2015, do indeed state that business lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sidney, will “decline entry if some items of clothing are too casual or inappropriate,” including, but not limited to, thongs and bare feet, beachwear (including board shorts), sleepwear, which apparently includes UGG boots and slippers, clothing with offensive logos or slogans, and “revealing, unclean, or torn clothing.”
Still, Catherell notes that she hasn’t seen the rule enforced in other lounges.
— Joanne Human League (@Lubycat) December 15, 2017
One flyer from 2015 also noted that while she was turned away for wearing thong sandals, a man wearing UGG sandals was allowed entry.
Refused entry to @Qantas Club in Perth for wearing thongs with my business dress, but the guy in Uggs & one in reef shoes & socks were fine!
— Julie McKay (@JulieEMcKay) April 15, 2015
A Qantas spokesperson has since released a statement to The Independent, saying, “We completely understand that no one likes being turned away at the door, but we’ve always had smart casual dress standards for our lounges, which are similar for those in place to most clubs and restaurants.”
The spokesperson went on to say that the guidelines had actually been requested by its clientele. “Over the past couple of years we have had clear feedback from lounge members that they wanted these existing guidelines to be applied more rigorously.”
What do you think of Qantas’ no UGGs rule? Share with us over @BritandCo.
(Photos via Pablo Cuadras, Paul Kane, Scott Barbour, + Jamie McCarthy/Getty)