Dress Code in the Air

There’s been a lot of talk recently on social media about the merits of airlines imposing a dress code for flyers. Often in the summer when airports are clogged with stressed-out families on vacation, more seasoned elite travelers complain. It’s less fun and less enjoyable to be one of the masses. Recently this has spilled over into a debate about dress codes for travelers. That’s why we were so interested to see the results of a study on this very subject.

According to a recent survey 21 percent of travelers think airlines have the right to ask passengers to change their attire before boarding a plane according to a poll conducted by GO Airport Express, a Chicago-based ground transportation company. The survey was in response to a recent incident in which Southwest Airlines deemed a passenger’s outfit inappropriate and would not let her board until she changed.

Of the 289 respondents, 31 percent disagreed, implying travelers have a right to dress as they choose, while 37 percent said they did not have an opinion one way or another.

Surprisingly, slightly more men (24 percent) responded that airlines should be able to ask people to change clothes before boarding, compared with women at 21 percent.

Several survey respondents noted that if an airline clearly states in its policies that it has a dress code, it should have every right to enforce the policy. Others answered “yes” in instances where the questionable attire jeopardized the safety of other passengers or was inappropriate for children.

“These results indicate travelers care most about getting to where they are going and are not paying attention, or caring, what others are wearing at the airport or on a plane,” says John McCarthy, president, GO Airport Express. “However, if travelers have concerns they should check the individual airline’s policy regarding attire.”