Air travel has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Gone are the days of travel when the difference in dress between the economy and first class passengers was quite noticeable. Back then, the dress code rules for first class passengers were stringent.
In first and business class, men should wear collared shirts, while women should wear slacks, dresses, and skirts. While American Airlines does not have a dress code policy for its guest travelers, the company did confirm that revenue customers are not allowed to wear clothes that could cause discomfort to others.
Airlines Dress Codes 20 Years Ago
Men were expected to wear a suit and tie while women were conservatively dressed in either a dress or a blouse with sleeves and pants or a skirt below the knees. Jeans were definitely not allowed in first class.
As social norms changed, so did the rules for first class. Suits were no longer a requirement, but first-class passengers were still expected to be well dressed in business casual attire:
- For men, this meant slacks, a collared shirt, and closed toe shoes. Jeans, sweats, and sneakers were still unacceptable in first class.
- For economy passengers, jeans were acceptable, but shorts were not.
Airlines Dress Codes Today
Today, however, there are really no differences in dress requirements for first class and economy passengers. Airlines dress code rules today generally do not consider the class of travel unless you are traveling on a pass.
In this case, the passing traveler must follow much stricter rules than revenue passengers. Oftentimes, this means that men are required to wear a collared shirt with slacks or jeans if they are seated in first or business class. Women, on the other hand, are required to wear dresses or a business top with slacks, a skirt, or jeans.
Many fliers tend to focus on comfort, and airlines have dramatically relaxed the dress code to suit the current environment. Also, with the new security procedures that passengers are required to undergo, many passengers dress to make the security process easier as well as the flying comfort.
Although it’s true that you can still wear pants in first class, there are plenty of options that will make you look good while still keeping you comfortable.
However, if you are going on an international flight, then make sure that you do not wear anything that has exposed feet and flip-flops.
Domestic first class dress code
Although it’s fine to wear shorts if it’s warm, it is not ideal to look like a total doofus in anything other than a button up shirt and long pants.
International first class dress code
Short pants are not appropriate for international first class because they are not common in most cultures.
If you are going on an international flight, then make sure that you do not wear anything that has exposed feet and flip-flops. The rules of first class are far more relaxed.
Since the international first class is different from domestic first class, it is important to consider the cultures of the people who are flying with you.
So What Should You Wear When Flying First Class?
Many airlines will not allow passengers on board with exposed underwear or midriff, shorts that are too short, clothing with offensive words or that would cause discomfort to other passengers or bare feet. Of course, it is always up to the airline to determine if you are appropriately dressed. Thus, if you are in doubt about what you are wearing, change it…just in case.
Airlines today do not have a clearly defined dress code for flying first class or any other categories of travelers, as long as you are not exposing yourself to the extent that you might be offensive to other passengers, you will be ok.
It is always recommended that you wear something light and comfortable and you should have no issues checking unto your flight!
What should I wear when flying first class?
If you’re still comfortable but want to look more casual, try these tips. Non-revenue guests are allowed to fly in any American Airlines class. Just make sure that your clothes are clean and neat and do not create a distraction.
Can you wear anything in first class?
First and business class passengers must wear business-appropriate attire while women must wear long or short-sleeve blouses. Although first class isn’t for everyone, it’s worth it if you’re planning on getting to your destination. If you’re not sure about the extras, it’s still worth it.
Do you get free alcohol in first class?
Business- and first-class passengers get complimentary meals and snacks. First class passengers have free access to alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer.
Do you have to wear a mask in first class?
In response to the SARS-like illness in 2004, airlines started requiring passengers to wear masks. In 2021, the US Department of Transportation made it illegal for passengers to board airplanes without masks. Delta Comfort+ and First Class passengers will receive free beer and wine tasting. Other beverages, such as soft drinks and juices, will be provided to First Class customers.
Do you have to wear a mask while sleeping on a plane?
In the US, all major airlines require masks for passengers. They also enforce their policies. While sleeping, however, is not an exception, according to the CDC’s order. Although the CDC has officially advised Americans to avoid wearing masks during flights, many still wear them when they’re at the airport.
What is United first-class like?
United First is a larger seat with a larger tray, better ventilation, and more room to stretch out. It also has a power plug and additional table space. While United and Delta are on the same level when it comes to first-class amenities, the latter offers more than enough choice when it comes to these areas.
Is it worth flying first class?
Although first class isn’t for everyone, it’s still worth it if you’re willing to pay for it. On some flights, we’ll be offering non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee and tea. In our premium cabins, alcoholic drinks are also complimentary.