This Airline Considers Wearing Shorts ‘Offensive’

Oct 6, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Different cultures have different expectations of what is and isn’t culturally appropriate — whether it’s what hand signals are offensive, which hand you use to pay or what clothes you’re expected to wear. When flying, we’ve heard of dress codes for non-revenue passengers (remember LeggingGate?) but dress codes for passengers seem like a thing of the distant past. While you may be judged for what you wear, passengers seem to wear whatever they feel is most comfortable.

However, as one passenger learned the hard way this week, there’s at least one airline that still has a dress code for passengers. Skyteam’s Saudia Airlines denied Forbes contributor Jordan Bishop from boarding a flight from Jakarta (CGK) to Riyadh (RUH) for having an “offensive” outfit. The offensive piece of clothing: his shorts.

In his write-up about the experience, Bishop notes that he did a quick Google search to find Saudia’s dress code. He found that the full dress code as published on Saudia’s website is as follows:

SAUDIA is requesting from their guests to abide by a dress code where by they are clothed in a manner that is inline with public taste or not offensive to other passengers.

Turns out that shorts don’t make the cut for being “inline with public taste” — according to Saudia. Thankfully TPG‘s Alberto Riva was wearing pants or our review of the Saudia’s business class from NYC to Riyadh might not have happened.

While the current version of the dress code doesn’t specifically mention shorts, we are able to go back in time thanks to the Internet Archive “Wayback Machine” to find the full version of what the airline finds offensive — at least as of July 2017:

SAUDIA is requesting from their guests to abide by a dress code where by they are not clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers. 
For example*:

  • Women exposing legs or arms; or wearing too thin; or too tight clothes. 
  • Men wearing shorts exposing legs.

Note: SAUDIA may refuse to transport passengers, or may remove passengers from the flight at any point for not complying with its dress code.
* including but not limited to.

Saudia’s dress code as of July 2017.

Thankfully Bishop didn’t miss the flight. He was able to buy a sarong at an airport store, which passed the gate agent’s decency requirements, and was allowed to board the flight. On-board, he spoke with flight attendants who recalled “several cases where passengers have not been allowed to fly.” Saudia’s policy for clothing violations is to treat the passenger as if he or she missed the flight entirely; the airline will not re-book the passenger. Instead, the passenger has to buy another ticket.

So, take this as a lesson for even the most frequent flyer: when flying to or through a conservative country, make sure that the airline you’re flying on doesn’t have a dress code. And, it doesn’t hurt to have a change of clothes with you. After all, you never know when checked baggage might be delayed.

H/T: Forbes via View From The Wing

Featured image by Carlo107 via Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.