Dress code for flights

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Agrumble 6 Apr 2017
at 15:24

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  • LuganoPirate

    My eldest son traveled to Cape Town on a staff ticket with an odd school friend of his who worked for KLM. He also had to wear a suit. As others have said, even though my son did not work for KLM he was still representing the company and had to dress accordingly.


    Morning LP
    Doesn’t surprise me about BA, after all, being a European airline, they probably don’t get the African knack of wearing practical dress. I wonder what would have happened if a Maasai warrior was behind you in the queue, re-splendid in traditional dress.

    As for staff travel, I can’t remember CP ever having a code, I’m sure they must of, and we did fly other airlines, including KLM quite frequently, so I’m sure they must have. Back in the day, Sunday attire was the order of the day when flying !!


    Did rock up once to SQ F Singapore check-in wearing a Tshirt, shorts and thongs (flip flops or jandles for Un-Zudders). Probably because it was F and I was European the staff overlooked this affront, but I did hasten to assure them a shower and change of kit were first order of the day lounge-side. So I was resplendent (nb. canucklad) prior boarding..


    Morning Canucklad,
    I shortened the story though I may have written about it on BT some years ago.
    In the end I did board with shorts where the front seats of the 747 had been curtained off so the other pax would not see me!
    Quite ridiculous and when I have a moment I’ll tell the whole story. It’s quite amusing.


    LuganoPirate, you said “….I did board with shorts where the front seats of the 747 had been curtained off…. when I have a moment I’ll tell the whole story. It’s quite amusing.”

    Thanks and please tell the whole story soon, sounds great and I could do with cheering up!!


    Looking forward to your story LP, currently sitting the gorgeous kitchen bar in T2.Eminently sensible parents have been clever enough to prepare the Rugrats for whatever long journey awaits the family
    Beijing bound,jetting to Jo’burg or of to Toronto, all the little scamps are adorned with onsies ready for beddy byes.


    90% of the time, I fly in comfortable old jeans and T-shirt, even in First.

    I want to be comfortable on long haul and I don’t really care what other people think.


    Givingup, Canucklad, thanks for the interest, and I’ll post it this weekend when I have a bit more time. Cheers for now.


    No, but once when my wife and I were upgraded to CW from WT on a flight back from Singapore, she was gently asked if she had some ‘court shoes’ as flip-flops were not quite the done thing.

    She did. It’s the only time I’ve been (apparently) better dressed than her.


    This happened back in the early 80’s flying from JNB to NBO on a 747 where BA had to make a refuelling stop. I’m not even sure there was Business Class back then and I was on a trip to West Africa after a holiday in Durban with my first wife who was then heading back to Amsterdam the next day with KLM. In those days there were no direct flights from JNB to Douala due to the boycott.

    I arrived for check in at the First Class counter about two hours before departure, was looked up and down then “excuse me sir” and off she went to talk to a supervisor who also looked me up and down and came back to say “I’m very sorry sir , but F is overbooked and we need to downgrade you”.

    I was suspicious and refused the downgrade and walked away to look for a phone box (remember those?) which I found and called BA reservations at the airport. “I need 2 seats urgently in First for tonight’s flight” I asked and was told ” not a problem sir, the cabin is only half full”!

    I waited 15 minutes, walked back to check-in and informed the supervisor that I now had another two seats booked in First as well as my original and he then embarrassedly admitted that the reason they had to downgrade me was I was wearing shorts!! He reluctantly issued my boarding pass, seated me in the front of the cabin and asked me to be there 30 minutes before departure.

    As soon as he saw me at the Gate he rushed over, personally escorted me on board before anyone else, and I could not believe they had curtained off the front of the cabin so no-one would see my lovely knees I presumed?

    Obviously after an hour or so and having imbibed BA’s then brilliant offerings, I opened the curtain to visit the small room, whereupon all eyes fell on me. I was now the embarrassed one as I headed for the bathroom feeling I was walking the walk of shame, with the stewardesses looking at me but also trying to avert my gaze.

    On the way back a distinguished man wearing a 3 piece suit stood up, and introduced himself as Lord Someone (can’t remember who but he was a Duke) and enquired as to whether I was a famous pop star? I could feel the eyes of the crew burning in my back as I answered no, just travelling to Nairobi on business. He guffawed with laughter which bought the stewardesses running and it transpired they had been told I was a VIP who wanted total privacy from the other passengers. When the Duke had asked them earlier who I was they said to him they did not know, just that I was a VIP most likely a pop star???

    After some lighthearted chat we could only assume it was because a member of the nobility was on board who could perhaps take offence to seeing naked knees in the first class cabin! Down came the curtain and it was actually a fun journey as the Duke and I chatted together over Champagne, cigars and shared African experiences.

    Those were the days!!!


    Thanks a lot for the story, lots of fun, especially ‘pop star’ and BA worrying about nobility taking offence at naked knees! But the best bit is the curtains.


    Love that story, LP!

    It reminds me of years ago my then g/f and I took a ride out of CPT up into the wheatlands and through the passes and ended up in Ceres. WX closed in on us after lunch and we decided to overnight at the New Belmont Hotel (which no longer exists as such) rather than ride back in mist and rain.

    We walked into the reception and a very snooty young female looked us up and down as if the cat had sicked us up. I suppose it was the bike jackets and helmets that did the trick. I asked for a room and was told the hotel was completely full, which was clearly a lie since it was midweek, midwinter, the car park was empty, and the keys to 95% of the rooms were all hanging above their pigeon holes behind the desk.

    We rode off into the rain and found a cafe in Ceres where we had (I remember very clearly) a milkshake, which is called a ‘melkskommel’ in Afrikaans, and anyone who speaks Afrikaans will know why this is amusing. I then found a phone box and called the hotel, pretending to be the operations manager of a well known local tour operator, and said we had a coach in the area which had an engine problem and we would need 12 double and 7 single rooms for the night.

    “Ag, of course, plesier sir, no problem, we look forward to seeing your group later. Tot siens.”

    We rock up at the hotel about an hour later, same snooty cow behind reception, and of course : “Ag no sorry, the hotel is still full and we didn’t have a cancellation.”

    “That’s fine, you can cancel the 12 doubles and 7 singles that you just booked for XXX tours, and we’ll just need one of those rooms. Thank you so much.”

    “You tricked me” she said.

    My reply was that you can’t ‘trick’ an honest person.

    At dinner, where we were the only guests, the owner/manager wandered round and came to have a chat. I mentioned the earlier incident and he said that as he too was a biker, he’d have a chat to the girl.

    In the morning, when we checked out, she told us our stay was ‘courtesy of the management’.

    I told her that I hoped she’d learned a lesson from that. If looks could kill I would not be relating this today.


    We asked a passenger to change his t-shirt today, if he didn’t have a spare we would offer him a First sleeper suit top. Or he could leave the aircraft. His t-shirt displayed the ‘C’ bomb in relation to the Scotland Independence referendum. He chose the sleeper suit option….if he could keep take it home. (raised eyes emoji)

    He was sat in WTP amongst a lot of families and kids and his t-shirt was remarked on to the crew by another passenger before the door was even closed.


    Nice one Capetonian. I know the road well and helped deliver two elephants to Inverdoorn just up the road from Ceres. It’s a beautiful part of the country.


    Were these passengers really only 10? and flying on their own? If the parents are employees they’d be aware of the dress code.

    You can always recognise an airline employee: they’re well dressed.

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