American Airlines Relaxes Non-Revenue Passenger Dress Code

Jul 21, 2017

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If you’re a “non-rev” passenger on American Airlines, you can now wear leggings… or shorts, flip-flops, baseball caps or even jogging suits. No matter if you’re flying economy, business or even first class.

This week, AA relaxed its non-rev (passengers who are employees or family/friends of employees) dress code. Effective immediately, AA has dropped its list of forbidden clothing. Instead, there’s just a general guideline that clothing just must be “neat and clean” and it can’t “offend or distract.”

This is generally in line with the airline’s previous requirements for traveling in economy. However, before this change, non-rev passengers were forbidden from wearing the following items in first or business class:

  • Shorts
  • Beach footwear (such as flip-flops and Croc-style shoes)
  • Jogging suits, athletic gear, baseball-style caps

In an internal memo to employees on Tuesday, AA Senior Vice President Patrick O’Keeffe explained the changes: “Your work life is very demanding so we want to give you policies, procedures and tools to make things as easy and straightforward for you as possible. As long as your clothing is neat and clean and doesn’t offend or distract, you’re good to fly in any class.”

As posted by FlyerTalk user TWA884, the following guidelines are now published in the latest edition of AA’s Travel Guide — which contains guidelines and rules for non-rev travel:

Dress guidelines while traveling

For most of us, being comfortable in flight extends to the clothes we wear. American doesn’t have a prescribed dress code for our non-revenue guests. So, as long as your clothing is neat and clean and doesn’t offend or distract, you’re good to fly in any class (including premium cabins). If you’re looking for more specifics, here are a few:

When we say offensive or distractive, we mean you shouldn’t wear anything that’s overly revealing (like super short shorts or something that is sheer or see through). That also extends to swimwear or sleepwear (of course it’s always okay to change into your American-provided pajamas if you’re lucky to snag a First Class seat on a premium international flight!)

It also means to avoid any attire that is vulgar or violates community standards of decency

When in doubt, ask yourself, “Do I blend in with customers?” If so, you’re probably set

While many non-revenue passengers are probably happy with these changes, there are some potential issues with the new rules. Rather than explicitly forbidding particular clothing (such as shorts or Crocs), the new rules leave a lot up to interpretation. Gate agents and non-revenue passengers might interpret “overly revealing” very differently. And, can Crocs ever not be distracting?

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

What do you think airlines’ non-rev dress code policies should be?

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