Should Thongs be Banned from Lounges?

Airport lounge attire and etiquette is a hot topic of discussion this week. Our members have a wide range of conflicting opinions on whether airlines should enforce a lounge dress code.

When it comes to appropriate lounge attire, our members are firmly divided in two camps. One group believes that thongs, beachwear and singlets have no place in the lounge. They believe that, at a minimum, guests should don a collared shirt and enclosed shoes.

A nice soft polo shirt and some tailored shorts or jeans is a smart option. I am still a believer that flying/lounge access is a big occasion and I make sure my husband and I present ourselves accordingly. You can make an effort and still be supremely comfortable. There was nothing sadder than sitting in the Sydney Lounge a couple of weeks ago and seeing so many board shorts, singlets and flip flops. This isn’t the local pub – thongs is a complete lack of respect IMHO.

One member opines that enclosed shoes should be essential when flying anyway for safety reasons.

Closed in shoes are essential for flying IMHO. Fashion aside I consider it a safety item wandering across Tarmac.

Others disagree completely. Members of this group believe that lounge visitors should be allowed to where anything they feel comfortable in. One member argues that comfort is more important than style when flying long-haul. Another points out that when they use the lounge, they are often returning home after a full day’s work.

I’m going to have to go against the terms a little here and say that I don’t feel the need to dress up to fly or visit the lounge… I’m a traveling engineer and often have to go from a full day of work on site to the airport so i often arrive at the lounge a little grubby. But i do carry a change of clothes and clean up in the shower once i get there.

Some airlines share the view that a lounge dress code is required. Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have “smart casual” dress guidelines for their airport lounges. Qantas enforces these guidelines, however Virgin does not.

Other members are quick to point out that the main problem with airline lounges is not what other guests are wearing, but their behaviour. Many agree that rudeness and poor lounge etiquette should have no place. Instead of a dress code, these members would like to see a ban on loud telephone conversations, passengers placing their feet on tables and rudeness to lounge staff and other passengers.

Add your views to the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]