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Dresscode on Commercial flights in First Class

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Old Jan 4, 09, 5:37 am
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Dresscode on Commercial flights in First Class

What was first class travel dresscode when it applied, like 1950-s, 1960-s?

Was it enforced - i. e. were people with paid tickets liable to be denied boarding or involuntarily downgraded for failure to meet dresscode?

When did the men only flights operate (so that men could remove their jackets - since stewardesses count as "maidservants" rather than "ladies", and are not entitled to the same courtesy)?

When did dresscode on commercial flights disappear? (In which countries?)
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Old Jan 4, 09, 1:00 pm
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If you're researching this you might try to take a look at "Airline: Identity, Design and Culture" by Keith Lovegrove. Lots of pictures from the golden age of travel.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
What was first class travel dresscode when it applied, like 1950-s, 1960-s?
I don't think the airlines had a First Class dresscode so much as social norms of the day enforced one. It was simply expected that if you were going to go out into public for a formal event (air travel definitely qualified as such back then), you dressed accordingly. And most people complied, even those traveling in economy class.

I never heard of any airline deying boarding or involuntarily downgrading a revenue First Class passenger, though an "improperly" dressed passenger might incur a few glares and even comments from fellow passengers.

Starting back in the early 1950s, United introduced "Executive Flights" featuring complimentary cocktails, steaks, business publications and cigars on board. These flights were available to men only, though female flight attendants were always available to light your cigar. I believe these flights ended in 1970.

Dresscode onboard airlines has eroded at the same pace as societal views on what's considered proper dress for various situations. Look at old pictures from the 40s and 50s. Men wore coats and ties to baseball games! People dressed up to go out to a movie. As for flying, it's no longer the novelty it once was and many people these days dress no differently than if they were just running down to the corner store.

Times have certainly changed.

Some restaurants still enforce dress codes. I recall reading that Ex-President Jimmy Carter was once denied service at a prestigious Boston eatery because he wasn't wearing a tie and refused to wear one proffered by the restaurant.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 5:19 pm
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Dress Code Today??

What about now? I rarely, if ever, see anyone dressed in any particulary way (other than casual) in First Class. Because I am a single female, I do try to look better than usual when travelling, particulaly in First Class
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Old Jan 5, 09, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Leyla A View Post
What about now? I rarely, if ever, see anyone dressed in any particulary way (other than casual) in First Class. Because I am a single female, I do try to look better than usual when travelling, particulaly in First Class
You're flying the wrong routes. Try flying F on AF LAX-CDG. Stunning.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
You're flying the wrong routes. Try flying F on AF LAX-CDG. Stunning.
This has nothing to do with dress code but simply the fact that you see supermodels on this route a lot.

Who cares what they wear ...
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Old Jan 5, 09, 5:39 pm
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It all started downhill when the airlines offered discounts to college students ~40 years ago. Next thing you know, there’s a bunch of hippies in jeans and tie-dye t-shirts onboard.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 7:13 pm
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In the early 1980s, a friend of mine working on a video project with Pan Am was flying to Europe in F on a comp ticket, but denied access to the F cabin by the senior purser owing to his clothing... I think he was wearing jeans and a polo shirt. He had to go sit in coach. Today the full-fare passengers are usually wearing jeans and polos, if not sweats.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
It all started downhill when the airlines offered discounts to college students ~40 years ago. Next thing you know, there’s a bunch of hippies in jeans and tie-dye t-shirts onboard.

You seem upset that things have changed...
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Old Jan 5, 09, 8:50 pm
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In 2009, most travelers who are in full business mufti (especially in premium cabins) are probably non-revs.

Some years ago, a number of corporations required employees traveling on company business to dress in business attire as they were "representing the company in public". I don't know if any companies follow that practice these days.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
In the early 1980s, a friend of mine working on a video project with Pan Am was flying to Europe in F on a comp ticket, but denied access to the F cabin by the senior purser owing to his clothing... I think he was wearing jeans and a polo shirt. He had to go sit in coach. Today the full-fare passengers are usually wearing jeans and polos, if not sweats.
If the airline is paying for the ticket (comp) they have every right to expect the passenger to dress appropriately and enforce their (written) rule. It's too bad your friend was disrespectful to the airline by showing up dressed too casually.

There is, and should be, a difference in a comp (free) ticket and someone who pays.
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Old Jan 5, 09, 9:16 pm
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I personally do miss the days when people had respect for themselves and other. The days of morals and chivalry. Yes the wonderful days when people would not consider going to church in anything other than the Sunday best. The days when people dressed up for dinner, movies and gatherings. Yes, days of Leave it to Beaver, Alice or The Brady Bunch. Much better social environment than we have now with so many feeling that they must express every minute of every day how much they have rights. Rights to do what they want, when they want, however they want, whereever they want. Even if that means boarding an airplane in the pajamas with a dog and a chicken under each arm. Yes between the two, I prefer the earlier scenario. Let the bums and the ones that look like bums ride a bus.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
I personally do miss the days when people had respect for themselves and other. The days of morals and chivalry. Yes the wonderful days when people would not consider going to church in anything other than the Sunday best. The days when people dressed up for dinner, movies and gatherings. Yes, days of Leave it to Beaver, Alice or The Brady Bunch. Much better social environment than we have now with so many feeling that they must express every minute of every day how much they have rights. Rights to do what they want, when they want, however they want, whereever they want. Even if that means boarding an airplane in the pajamas with a dog and a chicken under each arm. Yes between the two, I prefer the earlier scenario. Let the bums and the ones that look like bums ride a bus.
Without going too OT, I'd prefer my rights to your morals.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 3:06 am
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Fly in Japan... almost everyone is in suits and ties...

And, while I'm not advicating a dress code per se, I do think there are some things that shouldn't be worn on an airplane, Flip Flops are my biggest pet peave, as are t-shirts. I know, it sounds ridiculous but if i'm in coach, i don't want your skin touching me...ever.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by Travellin' Fool View Post
I know, it sounds ridiculous but if i'm in coach, i don't want your skin touching me...ever.
Amen to that one!
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