My Punishment For Wearing Pajamas At An Airport

Filed Under: British Airways, Qatar

As long time readers will know, I’ve learned my lesson of not wearing pajamas at airports. Specifically I learned that lesson in 2011 when flying from Melbourne to London via Singapore, whereby for whatever reason keeping my pajamas on during the transit seemed like a decent idea. IT WASN’T.

Yesterday I flew Qatar Airways A380 first class from Doha to London.


Coincidentally this was actually the one year anniversary of the inaugural Qatar Airways A380 flight on the same route, which I was also on. The flight was rather mediocre, as the service was indifferent at best and Qatar seems to be doing some cost cutting (they got rid of pajamas on daytime flights, there are no more snacks at the bar, etc.). The main thing that was “five stars” about the service was the number of times they referred to themselves as a five star airline over the PA. I don’t think they’ve heard of the concept of under promising and over delivering, but given who runs the airline, that’s hardly surprising. 😉

Anyway, it was a long travel day, as I was flying from Dubai to Doha to London to Los Angeles in one day. So before takeoff I decided to get a bit more comfortable and put on my Emirates pajama bottoms (while I kept a hoodie on as the top).

Fast forward to landing. I was just a little bit hungover (Qatar serves Krug, what can I say?), and decided that keeping on my pajama pants wasn’t a terrible idea. And even in retrospect I don’t think it was that egregious. I had a decent-looking Lacoste hoodie on, and the pajama pants were comfortable, so why not?

Upon landing we headed to Terminal 5 for our connecting flight, and as we cleared security I came to the realization that I had left my jeans and t-shirt in the wardrobe on the Qatar plane. F&#$!


Go figure that day I had chosen to wear my nicest pair of jeans and one of my favorite t-shirts.

I had a short connection, so at that point headed to the Concorde Room, which is British Airways’ first class lounge. I explained the situation to the agents — “I’m a total idiot and left my clothes on my Qatar Airways flight from Doha, and have a short connection. Is there any chance you could help me get in touch with them?”


As I find to be the norm in the Concorde Room, the agents gave me a look which could best be described as half disgust and half “I couldn’t be bothered.” It was very Carol Beer:

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting someone to go between terminals to bring me my clothes, but I figured I could at least make “live” contact with someone regarding the item I knew I left behind.

After begging for them to at least get me contact information for Qatar Airways, the agent huffed, went into the back room, and came back to throw this piece of paper at me:


She finished with “next time you should probably check the wardrobe before you get off the plane.”


Bottom line

Perhaps the lesson here is that I should just never change clothes on planes anymore? Between humiliating myself by leaving pajamas on in the airport, and having my clothes disappear on a plane, I just don’t seem to be very lucky when it comes to this stuff!

Have you ever left your clothes behind on a plane?

  1. So, in my experience, going back to 2011, Qatar Airways hasn’t given pajamas on day flights. Albeit way back then it was just business class..

  2. Ya know the irony here is that I’ve had a BA flight attendant RACE after me with my global entry and no checked luggage to give me back my iPad and Bose QC2’s I left in business after a similar circumstance. That was the first time I wanted to be a GC holder so I could give her the Golden Ticket. I did call customer service over it though.

  3. Ah, blame it on the Krug…it happens.

    What’s more worrisome is that Qatar service has degraded so much. Very sad to hear indeed.

    Good news is sounds like BA is still holding up to their less than great service. Love that note she wrote like a 3 year old. Sad.

  4. 3 important questions

    How much Krug to forget ones cloths?
    Did you get the cloths back?
    And why did nobody stop you? I was under the impression that at least Tiffany was on the same flight?

  5. Hi Ben, I’m to read you forgot your clothes on the plane but I’m even more sorry you had to experience the BA attitude “whatever” and “I’m not bothered”.
    There is a famous comedian you may know, she is Pam Ann and in one of her shows she called on stage a BA flight attendant and make the piss out of him for their BA behaviour.
    You can find the video on YouTube. If you don’t just message me and I’ll send you the link.
    Enjoy your trip Mr Lucky Panama’s 😀

  6. I actually have a positive (kind of) experience afew years ago. Flew BA LHR-NRT (premium economy/WT+) and had my shirt ruined by a broken wine glass. As I had forgotten to pack a spare shirt or anything to change with, the flight attendant kindly offered a pajamas from First. I wore the PJ top as we arrived at NRT and into the terminal building (I had no other choice). At passport control the lines where endless, but I got ushered into the tiny fast track line (first only), and saved at least 30 mins. In retrospect, I think the “First” logo on the pajamas made the trick…

  7. Actually quite disappointed to see that that was BA’s response and the expectation. My husband flew today to Paris and realised at the gate, he couldn’t find his passport (don’t even go there). He had a BA ground staff with him helping him unpack his carry on. After I searched everywhere in the house and suggested it would have been at his car – he called valet parking and there is was. BA sent someone airside to meet the driver, got the passport to the gate and he made his flight. Everyone was super friendly and calm and reassuring. They did go out of their way and he really appreciated it. So did I – as saved me from driving to airport to take him his second passport. They could have at least called Qatar and shown some initiative – in the name of seamless one world integration and all.

  8. There’s no reason for the agent’s attitude, but the hoodie probably didn’t help. Sorry but backpackers and anyone sporting a backpacker look won’t get much respect in “business class” establishments.

  9. Many people like to criticize LY but when we flew as an extended family to TLV Mon forgot a hatbox onboard. When we realized it we begged to be taken back onboard but security said NO WAY. They suggested that we file a claim form at the lost and found but they refused, they insisted that they had it , had to give it to us and said forget the form.
    Elapsed time from landing to return of box, 12 minutes.

  10. Hope u got your jeans back, Ben. Had a similar situation last week, as the Missioni Pyjamas are so dann confortable…in my case I changed into jeans but realized that I still had the slippers on when I wanted to leave the plane’lol’

  11. I can’t believe the elitist attitudes of some of the commenters between the post about the Qantas Lounge Dress Code and chancers comment on here.

  12. It really boggles the mind how British Airways have let the quality of its Concorde Room staff slip over the years.

  13. @ Curious George – You know what they say about ASSuming too much…. Reason why I know the backpacker look doesn’t get much approval is because I’m one who’s usually carrying a backpack (and probably wearing a hoodie too.)

  14. It’d be refreshing to see a post taking resposibility for a shortcoming rather than highlighting the ineptitude of someone else.

  15. @Charles: My experience in J class LHR BA lounge a few years back proves that how one is attired has zero with regards to the surly, abrasive, obnoxious, rude and outright ‘in your face’ attitude that many BA ground staff have. I complained to BA corporate via a letter and they even were shocked at what had taken place. Gave me 20K Avios for the utter disgraceful conduct of the lounge staff. Many of the BA ground staff should have zero contact with the public and should be placed in a back office with no windows or doors. The cutting last remark made to Lucky is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. They always seem to want to get a dig in. Doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50 years of age, the head of a corporation or a four star general. They just have it in them to be that way. It’s in their DNA or a misplaced corncob.

  16. @chancer- I apologize in assuming you had an elitist attitude. For the record, I’ve checked in an external frame backpack a couple of times in BA F, usually ORD-LHR-NBO to visit family and take in a safari and never received an attitude after confirming I was an F passenger. Stopped flying on BA though now that all three of the ME3 fly to ORD and NBO.

  17. Doesn’t matter what you wear – they should treat you like your the king of England. Especially if you’re wearing a watch that costs more than they make in a year and enough to fund your travels in first and Biz class.

    I treat everyone the same – regardless of how they look.

  18. @lopere, so where exactly do you see a failure to take responsibility? As for the critique of the alleged “service providers” sharing that sort of info is the PURPOSE of this blog.
    Air must be awfully thin way up there.
    @Lucky, I thought about you on my CX flight to HK last month. Those pjs were so, so comfy (and the Krug so, so good), I really didn’t want to change into my clothes (or, for that matter, get off the plane at all) upon landing.

  19. BA Lounge Dragons were named that for a reason. I agree that the LHR VS Clubhouse is better than the LHR BA Concorde Room – attitude, staff & service.

  20. I don’t recall the last time I heard somebody say good things about the BA Concorde staff. I don’t agree with the folks here who say your appearance affects your treatment by the airlines. Given the casual nature of travelers overall, treating casually dressed travelers poorly would result in a huge reduction in service standards. Suits are nowhere near the majority in the average airplane cabin nowadays.

  21. You’re certainly right about the cost cutting at Qatar. Menus are no longer in menu holders (not necessary but an elegant touch), amenity kit has been cheapened (the wonderful old, soft and large eye covers are long gone), the menu itself seems (at least to this FF) to have a much smaller range of options than in the recent past….pajamas, as far as I can tell, only the the long overnight flights. Luckily, they still have nice champagne and a 40 year old port……and, compared to the the other options, are quite a step up.

    I expect they think we don’t notice the cost cutting but…….

  22. I forgot my hoodie (which I would definitely need for a 24 hour layover in Toronto on the return) on a Westjet flight to SXM. I tweeted my mistake @Westjet and they promptly responded that they had located my hoodie and I could pick it up at their partner’s gate at the airport at my convenience. Amazing service!

  23. Never left my clothes on a plane, but left my entire overnight bag on a bus once and left my (almost brand new and relatively expensive) glasses once in an airplane seatbag pocket.


  24. I find it appalling that the FA for your cabin didn’t bring your items to you before landing, or at the very least remind you they were in the wardrobe! I sometimes take QF for granted, but they would NEVER allow this to happen. My enthusiasm for a Qatar flight had just done down several notches!

  25. oh, and response from the BA-types was typical; leave something small in their F cabin and it’s as good as gone, I can attest! 🙂

  26. That is quite a good story even though you had to get that “I can’t be bothered” look. Hope you got your things back. I never left my clothes on a plane but I wore my pajama bottoms to a 7-11 in San Francisco at 2 am. No one batted an eye and the place was packed. There was quite an interesting assortment of outfits in fact.

  27. Hi Lucky,

    I just flew Thai yesterday. The pajama was usually good. I was deciding if I could keep it like Rimowa Amenity Kit. Do you think I can take pj off the plane when I go back? The Flight Attendant were really nice, serving me caviar two times and half bottle of Dom. Thanks.

  28. @ Ben — All I can say is Shit Happens. If you just sat at home and did nothing, none of this would happen. I used to get very upset about such things, but you are hetter off just laughing it off and chalking it up to experience. Surely the Krug cost more than your jeans?

  29. Happens to the best of it! I was traveling with my parents once BNA-LAX-NRT and my father had gotten so cozy on the flight he realized as we got to passport control he had left it on the plane!

    Personally, I’ve had an embarrassing habit of being so excited after long taxi times at DFW of just bolting off the plane…. forgetting I have a carry-on in the overhead.

  30. THANKS for the laughs Ben, that video is a real gem! Plus, I can just imagine the scene of surprise when you realized that you had left your clothes on the plane! Now what displeased me about your story is how QR has ‘downgraded’ their 5 service. I’m flying with them two segments (DPS-DOH-IAH) on my RTW trip next month and I have been looking forward to the experience plus a visit to the new DOH airport & lounge! At least I now know that I WILL be getting a pair of pj’s since the 787 flight from DPS is at night!

    Anyhow Ben, keep enjoying all the Krug that you can handle & wear those comfy pjs that you like for as long as you want, please don’t change; life is too short to be bothered by ‘crusty’ naysayers or condescending Lounge ‘Dragons’!

  31. “Between…leaving pajamas on in the airport, and having my clothes disappear on a plane, I just don’t seem to be very lucky when it comes to this stuff!”

    Simplest solution…maybe just fly nekid 😉 😀

    Seriously though, it’s disappointing to hear of service like that while flying on a premium ticket.

    Similar to @Becky’s story above, I left a bag on a KMB bus here in Hong Kong. Their lost and found / recovery service was a complete dead end. But no big loss as it was my gym bag with a single set of workout clothes inside. I did have an unopened package of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo cookies in there as well that a friend had brought over from the States though. I guess somebody, somewhere enjoyed them ha ha.

  32. Dear Ben,

    Yeah, agreed. Cost cutting happened a lot this days on QR. There is no more snacks or canapés available at the onboard bar. Unlike on Emirates. Even for 3 hours flight, between BKK-HKG, they offered full range of bar set up including Moët for JC, Dom for FC, canapés, fruits, sweets, nuts, etc. Based on my experience, even the meal portion on EK is bigger than QR.

    Btw, the pajamas you received on QR first class basically just to do the marketing of their product since it was your inaugural flight last year. There have never been pajamas offered in First Class during a day time flight. Same goes to your pajamas offered on Airbus 350 inaugural to Frankfurt.
    The pajamas basically offered on a night flight for JC and FC cabin.

    Regarding the PA’s, I do agree that was the only “5 star” about it. It seems like QR will always run after a trophy/awards rather than thinking about how to make revenue. But of course not by doing the cost cutting of their services and products.

    I bet, 2 or 3 months before Skytrax audit, all the nicest and wonderful product will be offered. After that it will be disappear like pajamas, the bar set up, folder case for menu, etc…

  33. A better and less sensational title for this post should read “Why you should not be absent minded on a flight”. I doubt curt service should be viewed as punishment.

  34. I agree the staff at the Concorde room were rude and should have been more proactive, but wearing pajamas in public is not OK. It does not matter if it is a Lacoste hodie, it’s still a hodie!

  35. What?

    I flew QR 3 DOH-LHR in July earlier this year and service was impeccable. Got 2 PJs to myself by taking one size and ‘asking if they had another size that I’d like to try trick’ (though I didn’t use it) and I remember the front bar near the toilet having many chips and snacks. I’m surprised they opted to cut cost considering the F lounge is taking so long and His Excellency is a guy that stands by luxury.

  36. Did you get your clothes back? It’s such a horrid feeling when you’ve left something on the plane (laptop, headset, clothes, etc.). Been there, done that too often. 🙁 Plus as you travel light you probably didn’t have a bunch of extra jeans with you!

  37. I lost a Barbour jacket that I left on a LH flight a year ago. ORD-FRA. Only four people in the first class cabin and I remembered not long after I got off the plane. Reported it to the people in the First Class Terminal probably 30 min after we got off the plane. They were very nice, made calls, etc., but said it wasn’t found. I always thought that was strange. Four people in the cabin and reported right after the flight.

    It was a nice jacket and very sentimental to me me so I miss it…

  38. Alas, problems such as “I forgot my pants in the wardrobe on the airplane and had to walk about in my pjs” will not be experienced by the 99%…

  39. You know what would have helped, not being a lightweight drunken goofball. Just stick to one glass from now on

  40. Wearing a hoodie and probably smelling like a bar didn’t help. If you had a clear head maybe you wouldn’t have forgotten your clothes.

  41. @Philip, if QR is providing “Missioni” PJs now then their cost cutting has really gotten out of hand! 🙂

  42. Aaah… our first-world, champagne-problems eh Ben!

    @chancer: that may have been true once, but seriously we have a new generation of FFs these days and frankly the way one is dressed is irrelevant. It should have zero bearing on CUSTOMER service. As someone who schedules in as much as possible to a trip – for business or pleasure – I’ve been known to jump on a flight straight off a safari, wearing full hiking gear and plop myself down in the pointy end of a plane. Whether I’m dressed in board shorts and a bikini, or a damn tutu, frankly an airlines representatives at all points of contact should present themselves to me in a professional and courteous manner. I have pulled entire company accounts from an airline based on their “classist” behavior. I have to know that whatever my team/guests wear onboard, I know that they will be treated with respect and decency.

    Ben thanks for the laugh! On a recent *A flight out of Belize, exhaustion from an early Mayan ruins tour and a delayed heli transfer, meant my bf and I boarded in safari gear and a serious case of swamp ass! With the intention of freshening up on the flight, I hung a dress in the closet and then collapsed like a sloth into my seat and a promptly into coma-like sleep shortly after. It wasn’t until I was in passport control at a very overcrowded IAH border, that the purser from the United flight arrived in front of me – puffing from her marathon run thru the airport, to reunite me with my dress and bra I had left behind in my dazed state. I still have NO idea how she located me in that insane bun-fight of a border in Houston!
    Well done United (it didn’t quite make up for one cancelled flight, having a steward spill water all over me, and not accepting cash in your lounge, but…) Credit where credit is due – I did not expect that kind of service from them. Hopefully she noticed my look of shock turn into delighted gratitude at her efforts.
    Now @AirNZ, I’d love to see a good set of pj’s onboard your premier class when I fly to NZ next week… any chance of a sporty All Blacks themed set sometime soon??

  43. Seriously you left your clothes on a plane?…..well I’ve heard it all now. A pity you didn’t experience more politeness from the CCR staff – but although they are all part of Oneworld, you were in an entirely different terminal from where you had left the plane (I presume from the article) I don’t wonder that the staff member thought you a ditz.

  44. Once I thought I had lost my wallet in the Concorde Lounge while going to the spa, and experienced the same “wtf, who cares, check your bag” attitude from the staff. All why wearing a dress shirt and pants, so I doubt that the hoodie had much to do with the situation.

    To be honest though, I did find my wallet in my bag while riding the transit to Concourse A, so the agents had a point :p But the tone, lack of empathy, and general attitude isn’t acceptable at what is supposed to be British Airways’ most premium and exclusive lounge. I doesn’t matter whether you lost your head or your pants and what you’re wearing. It’s just not appropriate.

  45. @JetSet

    Frankly you sound a bit classist yourself like my shit don’t stink kind, or perhaps you are just a corporate asshole.

    It’s one thing to travel in casual wear, it’s another to show up in dirty safari wear and stinking up the whole cabin.

    Do you know how difficult it’s to keep airline seats clean? You don’t seem to think about the other passengers will have to sit in the same seat later.

    Have you heard about the concept of getting of getting a day room at a airport hotel and shower if there is not a lounge shower available? And not planning so tight connections this it not possible.

    If all your team/guests behave like this I would say the airlines are probably relieved when you pull an account since they don’t have to put up with all the complaints from the rest of their passengers about the smelly Indiana Jones characters that invaded the cabin.

  46. Right after the 9/11 disaster, and when the airlines in domestic Norway had decided to cut-cost by reducing, I was working as a financial controller for a Inflight Catering company.
    I had been traveling around, doing lots of work-end agreements, however I managed to leave all my paperwork in the magazine holder, and everything was removed by the cleaning company.
    I figured out just as leaving the airport, and spend that Friday going through 10 big bags of waste, just to retrieve my docs….

  47. @jetset; plainly you are not keeping up your medication. The nasties are a dreadful affliction difficult to cure, but hang in there; the meds will help keep it under control.

  48. @ eric; sadly this is how BA is, even in F. After a LHR-JFK flight in F I realized I had left a USB stick onboard. Went through all the procedures to recover, but nada. I guess some cleaner has a new USB stick now. It’s programmed to blow up if used in any computer but mine! (joke).

  49. Not sure how I would have responded to some guy who a) doesn’t know how much alcohol is appropriate, b) defends his choice to drink too much based on the quality of the alcohol available, c) wears a hoodie and pajama bottoms in public, and d) isn’t responsible enough to pack up his things before getting off a plane.
    Sorry, but you sound like a dim-witted, unsophisticated whiner.

  50. All you “holier than thou folks” why do you read the blog? Oh I know so you can say things online you lack the courage to say in real life. I know I’ll get hell for this but don’t care,all British public conveyance is horrible and I am not the least bit surprised by their attitude. Ben I feel your pain regardless of how you were dressed 🙂

  51. I remember my dad forgetting a jumper on an LH connection in Frankfurt on his way to Slovenia, flying Business. He called them and they said they’d do what they could. They kept it for him and hand-delivered it at the gate on the way back. And it wasn’t even a nice jumper :-/ LH service is still one of the nicest in Europe, even in economy!

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