What is deemed appropriate clothing to wear on a flight differs from airline to airline.
Isabelle Eleanore, who wore a black crop top and a pair of jeans for a flight from the Gold Coast to Melbourne earlier this month, was told to cover up.
A flight attendant stopped the OnlyFans model during boarding to inform her that her clothes were deemed inappropriate for flying.
The model told 9News that the flight attendant asked her if she carried a jumper to wear.
“She kept going and she was like ‘well, you can’t fly with what you’re wearing, you can’t wear a bikini. And I’m like ‘look, it’s not a bikini, it’s a top,” she told the publication (sic)
Eleanore, who was travelling with her husband Jeremy Szwarcbord, said the experience made her feel “victimised and degraded”.
After several attempts to get her to cover up, the flight attendant brought her a hi-vis vest for her to use. She wore the vest as she didn’t want to get kicked off the plane.
Emily O’Connor encountered a similar problem in 2018. She boarded a Thomas Cook flight from Birmingham in the United Kingdom to the Canary Islands when staff informed her that her outfit was “inappropriate” and “causing offence.”
She wore a cropped top with spaghetti straps and high-waist pants that exposed a section of her tummy. O’Connor called the incident “the most sexist, misogynistic, embarrassing experience of my life.”
In another incident, American Airlines staff asked doctor Tisha Rowe to cover her one-piece short and strapless top with a blanket on a flight from Jamaica to Miami in 2019.
Rouw posted a picture of her outfit on Twitter weighing on the incident: “When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies” (sic)
The what to wear debate
Travellers should familiarise themselves with the airline’s dress policies before they head to their flight. For example, American Airlines requests travellers to “dress appropriately”.
Travellers aren’t allowed to enter with bare feet or wear any offensive clothing. Southwest Airlines dress code is more “relaxed and casual”. However, travellers will need to “present a clean, well-groomed, and tasteful appearance”.
South African airlines are more relaxed when it comes to passengers’ clothing choices.
Kirby Gordon, chief marketing officer at FlySafair, said the airline doesn’t have a specific policy on attire.
“As long as customers are behaving within the construct of our constitution and legal framework, we are happy to carry them. Safety is a key concern, so any item of attire that falls within the gambit of our dangerous goods policy could be a concern or anything that might create any obstruction from a safety perspective,” he said.
Jonathan Ayache, CEO of LIFT, the newest airline to operate in South Africa, said the airline doesn’t have any dress code.
“We want our customers to be happy and comfortable when they fly with us. And to try and look as good as our crew,” he said.
Jennifer Harcourt Buchanan, a member of Facebook group Authentic Traveler and former flight attendant, said well-dressed passengers are often given better treatment than those who are not.
“The better you are dressed, the better you are treated by airline employees. From upgrades at the gate to complimentary beverages on the flights. I’m a former flight attendant and the practices haven’t changed. They are unwritten practices. The assumption is, if you know enough to look like a well-groomed, neatly dressed human, you will behave as a well-mannered human,” she said.
Buchanan added: “If there’s an emergency evacuation, being dressed to run through debris, fire and water into a slide is equally important.”
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