Man Flies to Los Angeles in Boxer Shorts, Recreates ‘Living Room Experience’

The saga of a man on a Paris – Los Angeles flight coming out of the coach restroom in his boxer shorts and spending the flight just letting it all hang out was chronicled on twitter yesterday.

There are a couple of things that make this story even more bizarre. If this was just about a man in his boxer shorts it might not be notable. But somehow a ukulele is involved.

More importantly is the response from flight attendants. They offered to move the passenger who objected to the boxer shorts (causing her to give up her bulkhead seat) but would not ask the man to put on pants. It seems to me that discretely suggesting wearing pants would have been the preferred approach here.

The man got cold inflight — but still didn’t put on his pants. He put on a jacket but no pants. And he drank quite a bit.

Personally when I’m flying long haul on an airline and in a class of service that doesn’t provide pajamas I bring my own airline pajamas to wear. I would much rather be comfortable on a transoceanic flight, and jeans aren’t going to cut it. But boxer shorts aren’t appropriate.

That said my opinion isn’t universally held. One veteran frequent flyer at defends the practice,

Boxers? Shorts? Same difference. Who cares?

I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t sleep wearing my trousers, not even on a plane.

On flights where pajamas are not provided I bring some along if I can. Otherwise I sleep in my underwear. I do believe in a modicum of discretion, and therefore (un)dress under my blanket.

This is more common than you might imagine, a passenger on my British Airways London Heathrow – Austin flight last month changed into and back out of his first class pajamas in the middle of the cabin instead of using the lavatory. Although in fairness British Airways doesn’t provide larger lavatories in their Boeing 777 first class cabin.

Now if this were American Airlines it might be considered appropriate where senior executives describe the removal of seat back entertainment in favor of customers using their own devices connected to high speed internet (in increasingly uncomfortable chairs) as trying to create the living room experience and passengers certainly do as they wish in their own living rooms.

The MTV sketch comedy show The State addressed the issue of a man who doesn’t know about the importance of wearing pants 25 years ago. Perhaps it’s time for a re-run on inflight entertainment systems.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I’m not that offended by this. 2 years ago I was in Qatar Airways First Class A380 Doha – Bangkok. there was just one other passenger in first class. He boarded, then stripped completely to his boxers. No shirt. No socks. Just the underwear. Stayed that way the entire flight, flight attendants didnt do anything. It was weird but fine I guess.

  2. I always do transoceanic flights in a tshirt and basketball shorts. But they are shorts. And I change in the lav.

  3. In business class you’ve got more privacy – suites or dividers. This economy passenger was knee to knee with the sloppily dressed passenger. I’d feel disgusted but I’d rather make his flight miserable by complaining directly to him rather than turning to the flight attendant for assistance. Just keep up the verbal harassment until he puts his pants back on.

    Brings to question how recreational shorts could be treated differently than boxer shorts or a swimsuit for that matter. I mean legally, or in policy terms, how can you distinguish and prohibit one while allowing another.

  4. I know it is the 21st century but the concept of decorum still exists and this was way over the line. He is lucky he wasn’t sitting next to somebody’s young child because he would have been mercilessly pummeled.

  5. When airfare is similar to the fare for a Greyhound bus ticket (if one could cross the ocean), what do you expect?

  6. so often I see fellow americans running around barefoot, even going barefoot to the toilet. And then… you see those feet on the bulkhead, in nice view. I do not understand how something like this can be tollerated by the FA. It is their duty to avoid people getting agressive, something which behaviour like this causes.

    boxer shorts? come on. no excuse for this. no matter if in eco or in first, short or long flight.

  7. So interesting – all the “okay” comments seem to be from men – maybe women are not so comfortable with a man in a “out of the norm” dress for the situation!!!!!!

  8. +1 with Xnuiem
    I always wear a comfy pair of light shorts (not boxers) and a t-shirt on transoceanic flights. If some of the airplanes (especially Asian and some European carriers) weren’t ungodly hot and provided individual air vents, I would probably wear sleeping pants.

  9. Disgusting. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something. Would you want your teenage daughter sitting next to this guy?

  10. Does the “hashtag passenger shaming” (#passengershaming) still exist?

    That’s where this nastiness and ill-mannered beast who was raised in a barn should have these shameful pics posted!

  11. A few years ago, many women used to pay a visit to the hairdresser right before the flight, and many men used to wear a formal outfit onboard

  12. Where does Air France draw the line? Can he put on a diaper and take his seat? Why not? May be the lav is too small to use.
    The unwritten rule is that you maintain the appearance that you had upon boarding. Both you and your comfort pets. After everyone has boarded and before the plane leaves, anyone traumatized by someone else can exit and forfeit their ticket. But they can exit. After the plane leaves the gate, everyone is stuck, so you, or I, dont get to go put a diaper on and get comfortable just because you or I have rights. Quite simply, other passengers also have rights.

  13. Have none of these moronic slobs heard of travel clothes, such as Lululemons that are super comfortable? How disgusting. And how shameful of the FAs

Comments are closed.