Qantas don't want your stinking thongs no more. From April 1 (no joke), it will begin more strictly enforcing its "smart casual" rules in Qantas Club and Business lounges. Does this mean the end of miners hanging out waiting for their FIFO connection? Not quite.
Picture: Michael Coghlan
This is Qantas' official statement about the changes:
In response to customer feedback, our minimum smart casual dress guidelines will be more closely applied to all visitors entering our Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Qantas Clubs or Business lounges from 1 April 2015. We want to create a comfortable atmosphere in our lounges that all visitors can enjoy.
There are two immediate points to notice here. Firstly, Qantas isn't actually introducing a new policy — it's reinforcing a policy that has always been in place. It has always had the option of booting you out if you look like a slob.
Secondly, that list only includes the major capital cities (sorry Hobart, but your barely-open lounge doesn't qualify). If you're in the Far North (Qantas has lounges in Darwin, Cairns, Townsville and Alice Springs), there's no suggestion you're going to be thrown out simply for wearing shorts. Gold Coast travellers, your tasteless shirts are (for the most part) fine.
The obvious objection — it was the first thing said in our office when we heard about it — is "what about all the mining workers?" The Perth lounge, in particular, is normally crammed with fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers. However, those workers are explicitly excluded, as Qantas explains:
Eligible visitors wearing uniforms are still permitted access, and this includes hi-vis work wear.
My take? I'm a very regular Qantas Club user, and have been for a decade. I generally think dress codes are pointless, but I'm really not fussed about this change. My normal wear in an airport lounge is a collared shirt and jeans, so I should be fine. And I'm OK with people being kicked out if they rock up in a mankini with Crocs. (Side observation: I'm always amazed to see anyone boarding a flight wearing thongs. No matter how warm the location, the plane itself will be fairly chilly.)
Does this seem like a good change to you? Tell us in the comments.
Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman promises he will never wear thongs in an airport lounge. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.