File this under things that make you groan, “UGG, really?” Joanne Catherel, a singer from The Human League, was turned away from a Qantas Airlines business lounge because she was wearing UGGs. In case you don’t fly to Australian often, Qantas is one of the most popular airlines of the continent down under. And according to Catherel, they deemed her boots “sleepwear,” thus in volation of their business lounge dress code.
Qantas’ banning of UGGs is made a little bit ironic because of the fact that UGGs are a popular Australian brand. But apparently, even in the birthplace of UGGs, people hate them. Still, whether you love UGGs or loathe them, they probably shouldn’t be considered “sleepwear.” Furthermore, it’s frustrating that an airline would attempt to police a woman’s clothing like that. But unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
In March of this year, United Airlines made headlines in the worst way possible when they prohibited a young girl from boarding a plane because of her attire. According to the airline, the girl did not meet their “dress code policy” because she was wearing leggings. LEGGINGS. Which, arguably, are one of the biggest travel necessities of all.
While Catherel’s unfortunate experience with Qantas is different from United’s dress code controversy, both incidents beg the question: Why do women keep getting in trouble for trying to be comfy? Even if you think UGGs are UGG-ly, you have to admit, they’re the world’s most comfortable shoes. They’re perfect for wearing on flights.
Catherel Tweeted about the incident and received hundreds of enraged replies.
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— Joanne Human League (@Lubycat) December 14, 2017
Lo and behold, Qantas responded, reiterating that they don’t allow UGGs in their business lounges.
Hi Joanne, we endeavour to remain consistent and uphold our Lounge's dress guidelines to all our guests . You may find details here: https://t.co/oiCgy2V1jR. Mark— Qantas (@Qantas) December 14, 2017
Which, as Catherel points out, makes no sense.
UGGs are airline staples. Qantas should allow them, no matter how nice their lounges may be. Considering that to gain access to a Qantas Business Lounge, you must purchase a pass and be a frequent flyer, anyone who gets in has probably paid the airline hundreds of dollars already. The least they can let anyone do is wear comfortable shoes!
Some Twitter users suggested that the airline should have given Catherel a new pair of shoes rather than suggest she buy them herself.
Oh for f’s sake - did they offer to buy these more ‘appropriate’ shoes ?— mini moderns (@minimoderns) December 15, 2017
But most people just expressed their outrage over the fact that boots made for walking on cold grounds could be considered “sleepwear.”
It doesn’t make sense, Qantas refer to them as boots and sleepwear in the same sentence. Since when did anyone wear boots to sleep in?— carrie (@curtste) December 14, 2017
Other women have taken to Twitter to share their own negative experiences with Qantas business lounges.
Refused entry to @Qantas Club in Perth for wearing thongs with my business dress, but the guy in Uggs & one in reef shoes & socks were fine!— Julie McKay (@JulieEMcKay) April 15, 2015
It’s frustrating to see women get banned or kicked out of any place based on what they’re wearing. Whether it’s young girls getting punished for breaking arbitrary — and often sexist — school dress code policies or incidents at airports where a woman is told that her expensive boots are inappropriate, policing women’s clothing needs to stop.
Perhaps every woman who wishes to wear comfortable shoes while traveling should invest in some UGGs with rhinestones and bows. Would that please the Quantas dress code gods?
Don’t make us do this, Qantas. UGGs are bad enough without rhinestones.