Qantas is clamping down on poorly-dressed passengers at its airport lounges, with the airline announcing it will be more rigorous in enforcing "minimum smart casual dress guidelines" at Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounges.
From April 1, travellers visiting Qantas lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide airports will need to ensure they're suitable togged up, or risk being turned away at the front desk.
"Entry may be refused at the discretion of the lounge staff if visitors do not meet the appropriate standard", the airline says.
"Lounge staff will use their discretion to determine if a visitor to the lounge meets our smart casual dress guidelines.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that customers entering these lounges "will receive a friendly reminder about the smart casual dress guidelines that apply."
Qantas has always listed a 'smart casual dress standard' in its terms and conditions, with singlets, bare feet, rubber thongs "and clothing with offensive images or slogans" in most cases considered unacceptable in the capital city lounges.
“The dress guidelines for our lounges are the same as most restaurants and clubs" the Qantas spokesperson said.
"The vast majority of our members meet and exceed the guidelines, but we have had some feedback from customers that they want to see those guidelines apply to everyone."
Until April 1, signage will also be displayed at the entry of each lounge reminding travellers of the guidelines.
Workers wearing high-visibility vests will not be affected by the dress standards.
So what is 'smart casual'?
It all begs the question: exactly what is 'smart casual'?
Wikipedia describes it as "an ambiguously-defined dress code that is generally a neat yet informal attire," and what constitutes 'smart casual' can depend on "the locality, type of event, context or culture... therefore the designating of certain clothing pieces as smart casual is disputed – for example, jeans."
In the hierarchy of dress codes smart casual is a notch down from business casual, which in turn sits one rung below business formal.
“The key look in this dress code is a chic, put-together ensemble,” suggests Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.
"It fashionably combines elements from the other dress codes, such as a nice pair of dark slacks, with a coordinated dressy blouse, jacket, and scarf, or a nice pair of trousers with a button-down shirt and sport coat."
So for blokes: think of the baseline as smart-looking pants (including dress jeans or chinos) topped by a simple polo shirt or dress shirt sans tie.
More AusBT articles on Qantas lounges
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Get set for some preflight pampering in the day spa of the Qantas first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. Here's a rundown of the treatments and how to make your free booking. Read more
Take a sneak peek beyond the frosted glass doors and inside Qantas' invitation-only Chairman's Lounge, which has often been called Australia's most exclusive club! Read more
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