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Just when you thought Ugg boots couldn’t be any more divisive, there’s a new Ugg controversy afoot.
Joanne Catherall, a singer in the band The Human League, is outraged after Qantas airlines denied her entry to a business class lounge in Melbourne Airport because she was wearing Uggs.
Catherall took to Twitter to vent about her experience.
“Denied access (to) @Qantas business class lounge in ... Melbourne Airport,” she wrote. “Apparently Ugg (Australia) Boots are deemed sleepwear by the lady working there although no problem in any of the other lounges so far. Helpfully she suggested I go to one of the shops and purchase some shoes.”
A representative from Qantas responded directly to her tweet. “We endeavor to remain consistent and uphold our Lounge's dress guidelines to all our guests,” the airline said, and included a link to its domestic lounge dress rules.
Qantas’ lounge dress code specifically bans Ugg boots and categorizes them as “sleepwear.” The dress guidelines also prohibit slippers, flip-flops, beachwear, head-to-toe gym wear and other types of casual clothing.
Whatever you think of Ugg boots, many people would agree that they are still shoes, not sleepwear. Catherell pushed back at the airline’s dress guidelines.
“Why would an Ugg boot I wear outdoors in all weathers be classed as sleepwear in Qantas lounge but nowhere else that I have ever been on this earth?” she tweeted at Qantas.
Plenty of Twitter users wondered the same thing.
“Absolutely unbelievable! I agree with you,” one woman wrote to Catherall. “I'm (an) Ugg lover and do not consider them to be sleepwear. They can have their lounge and I will keep on rocking my Uggs.”
“If you pay for Business Class you should be able to travel in whatever you feel comfortable in,” another woman chimed in. “Whatever footwear you choose to wear is not going to ruin other passengers’ travel experience!”
Catherall also pointed out that she has worn her Uggs without issue in other Qantas airport lounges in Perth and Adelaide. However, the airline stood by the Melbourne Airport lounge’s decision to deny her entry.
“Understood Joanne,” a Qantas spokesperson tweeted to Catherall. “Bear in mind each lounge is subject to the discretion of the team. We’ll pass your feedback on so we can improve our services.”
TODAY Style reached out to Catherall and the airline for comment but had yet to hear back by publish time.
Many airlines have dress codes in their business and first class lounges and, sure, there’s a time and a place for Uggs. But flying is a pain, and if you need a pair of warm boots to get through a long flight, should it matter whether they’re Uggs, Chelsea boots or anything in between?