SERIOUSLY, this absolutely riles me up.

I am sick to death of seeing people jumping onto a plane looking like they are heading to a local pool.

Last week, Qantas refused lounge entry to Joanne Catherall, a vocalist for English pop band Human League (a band I love, but that’s beside the point) all because she was wearing Ugg boots into the airline’s business class lounge.

Some viewed the ban as a national disgrace but you know what? I am absolutely, totally and fully with the airline.

Plane travel used to be glamorous. Yes, it was travel where you felt like you wanted to look the part and, more importantly, wanted to have respect for fellow travellers. (Those filthy, bitten-down toenails, slid into rubber-thin thongs I once sat next to still make me want to be sick.)

Too often plane travel has turned into something akin to jumping on a bus and heading to the beach. Basically our flying sartorial style is simply atrocious. And I reckon airlines have every right to set a style standard.

What always stumps me is the extent to which some travellers’ mile-high clothing, quite frankly, stinks.

I’m all for comfy in-flight clothing but can someone tell me how a pair of rubber thongs, sleepwear (leave it until you get onto the place, at least), a party dress, sweaty gymwear and blokes in too-hugging shorts, even vaguely constitutes comfy plane attire?

How would you ever expect to be considered for an upgrade (okay, that hardly happens anyway) if your plastic flip-flops are so worn down at the heel you may as well have gone barefoot?

It’s no wonder ground staff and flight attendants treat some passengers with slight disdain. Checking in a gang of baby boomers reeking of booze as they parade their stubbies, singlets, thongs and muffin-front bellies can’t be that pretty for any airline staffer.

Just a few years ago Qantas issued a fashion decree; the what-to and what-not-to-wear into their business class lounges.

Before you start throwing your macadamia cookies at me, let me reiterate: it is into their business-class lounges.

“These guidelines are intended to create an environment that everyone can enjoy and we look forward to welcoming you into our lounges soon,” goes the airline’s speil.

It wasn’t and isn’t a universal flying fashion rule but doesn’t the fact they even had to do it make you feel like you want to feel a little special when you jump on a plane? And that’s whether you’re zipping on an interstate business trip or a holiday.

Can’t we give plane travel some sense of occasion? Some sense of dignity? Make it special, or an experience?

No, you don’t have to be up the smartypants end of the plane, nor do you have to wear your sky-high heels and best dress. But come on, how difficult is it just to wear something ‘smart’ that also happens to be comfortable?

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So next time you’re thinking about pulling an airline apart over their dress rules, think about the things you’ve seen that are best left for other parts of the day.

Perhaps airlines should forgo the white chocolate cookie and supply eye-masks, travel-sized deodorant and scent samplers.

That way, while we might not always arrive with our luggage, but at least we’d land with our olfactory and visual senses intact.

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