Kevin Pietersen denied entry to Qantas lounge for wearing flip flops


Kevin Pietersen was denied entry to a Qantas airport lounge because he was wearing flip flops, highlighting the airline’s strict dress code policies.

The England cricketer was angered at the incident at one of the airline’s club lounges on Sunday, posting a tweet which said “Thongs [the Australian name for flip-flops] are an institution in this great country! Get a grip!"

And BTW, @Qantas! Thongs are an institution in this great country! GET A GRIP! Tired, jet lagged & just wanted to chill! #Muppets

— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24)
December 14, 2015

The star was in transit between South Africa and Melbourne when he was denied access by Qantas staff. Here he is bidding farewell to the country.

Bye, bye, SA! Another special time in a v v special country! Love you all & see you soon!

— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24)
December 13, 2015

While flip-flops are common attire in Australia, Qantas has made the decision not to allow them in its club lounges and has a history of refusing passengers entry for not complying with its dress code.

In February this year, the airline warned its passengers that it would be cracking down on clothing that it did not consider to be “smart/casual”.

Angkor Wat code of conduct video depicts offensive tourist behaviour

From April 1, anyone caught wearing attire not considered “smart/casual” has been turned away, in line with Qantas Club terms and conditions, a spokesman said. The rules include a requirement that “smart, casual dress standards apply at all times”.

“Individual lounge managers will have discretion to administer these standards as they reasonably deem appropriate,” state the terms and conditions on Qantas’s website.

The message had not reached Pietersen however.

I suggest you tell Platinum, First Class fliers that they not allowed in your lounges with flip flops before they fly, @Qantas! Muppets!

— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24)
December 14, 2015

I wear them in my own clubs & bars! @EDENDUBAI @purllondon!

— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24)
December 15, 2015

Along with flip flops, vests, bare feet and midriff-baring tops are also frowned upon. The spokesman added that 84 per cent of its passengers said they were in favour of a more stringent code in a survey.

"We completely understand that being declined at the door isn’t a great experience," a Qantas spokesman told the Telegraph today, "so this is a good opportunity to remind those wanting to use our capital city lounges of the dress code that applies."

First-class airport lounges are becoming increasingly upmarket. Cathay Pacific has just opened a new lounge called The Pier, in Hong Kong’s International Airport.

Kevin Pieterson calls flip-flops 'an institution' after being denied entry to Qantas loungeCathay Pacific's new lounge The Pier

The brown leather armchairs, bookcases and potted plants give it the feel of a gentleman’s cigar lounge. “Contemporary Asian touches are tangible in the lounge’s green onyx walls, as well as the walnut and bronze screens”, the airline said.

A complimentary foot massage has been introduced for the first time, “to help passengers arrive in better shape,” while day suites are equipped with beds and showers and a library and dining room are also available to guests.

British Airways meanwhile has installed The Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, which is hung with chandeliers and described by the airline as "the epitome of elegance". It offers "intimate dining in private booths with full waiter service" and private cabanas.

It also this year opened a new lounge in Singapore with a Concorde Bar.

Kevin Pieterson calls flip-flops 'an institution' after being denied entry to Qantas loungeBA's Concorde Bar