Lonely Planet Writer

Ugg boots are not allowed when flying first class on this airline

We all know the importance of comfortable footwear when travelling, but if you go too casual, be warned that it might have repercussions. Joanne Catherall, vocalist with English band, The Human League, was surprised to be refused access to the Qantas business lounge in Melbourne recently for wearing boots that the airline considers are in violation of its “smart-casual” dress code.

Joanne Catherall of The Human League performs at Rewind Festival 2017. Image: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

The 55-year-old singer took to Twitter to complain that she wasn’t allowed access to the lounge as she was wearing a pair of the popular sheepskin Ugg boots, while en route to Sydney for a gig at the State Theatre. Joanne tweeted: “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.”

The Qantas business lounge in Melbourne. Image: Qantas

Qantas responded by saying that it endeavours to remain consistent and uphold its lounges’ dress guidelines. These state that “when you’re visiting our domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, we ask that you follow our smart casual dress guidelines. Our team will decline entry if some items of clothing are too casual or inappropriate. This includes, but is not limited to: thongs and bare feet; head-to-toe gym wear; beachwear (including board shorts); sleepwear (including Ugg boots and slippers); clothing featuring offensive images or slogans; revealing, unclean or torn clothing.”

Many users took to Twitter to condemn the decision to classify Uggs as sleepwear, as the boots are extremely popular as regular, daywear attire. The comfy sheepskin boots have also sported by many celebrities, including Beyoncé, Kate Moss, Salma Hayek, Britney Spears and Sarah Jessica Parker. Nonetheless, the message from Qantas is quite clear: even award-winning band members are not welcome to enter Qantas lounges with Uggs on their feet.