Japan Airlines just made it easier for passengers to pack as lightly as possible. The name “Any Wear, Anywhere” perfectly describes the airline’s new initiative to simplify the travel experience for passengers. From now until August 2024, Japan Airlines passengers can try out this new program and leave their clothes at home when traveling to Japan.
Sumitomo Corporation is handling clothing rentals, and they intend to cater to as many travelers as possible. The clothing options vary in size and style, and depending on how well the program goes, it may become a mainstay for Japan Airlines. This news comes after a surge in Japanese tourism that includes nearly 2 million visitors in May alone.
Travelers have the option to rent sets of clothing that cost between $28 and $49 (¥4,000 to ¥7,000). They offer sets of clothing that cater to different occasions, such as classy dinners or casual sightseeing attire. Currently, travelers can only rent clothing through Japan Airlines in sizes small, medium, and large, but that could change if the program makes it out of the trial phase.
Japan Airlines passengers can register for the program online. Make sure to reserve your clothes ahead of your flight as reservations for seasonal clothing go quickly. They request that travelers reserve their outfits at least one month before flying to ensure they will be available.
Japan Airlines may not be the first company to offer clothing rentals for travelers, but they are setting a precedent for airlines to do so in this way. Rent the Runway partnered with TripAdvisor Plus offering a concierge clothing service, but Any Wear, Anywhere differs in many ways.
Any Wear, Anywhere offers a variety of clothing styles at different price points depending on how casual they are. Conversely, Rent the Runway focuses on designer clothes, such as gowns that cost nearly $700.
The new program is about more than just helping passengers free up bag space for their convenience. Japan Airlines said in a press release, “With more and more people flying again after the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the recent emphasis on sustainability, there is a growing movement around the world to promote sustainable tourism.”
Part of the appeal of the new program is that it may eliminate the need for many passengers to check bags. The rise in baggage claim and TSA wait times has made many airlines focus on making the process smoother for passengers. While the new program is about sustainability, it can also expedite the time that participating passengers spend at the airport.
Luckily, travelers don’t have to worry about waiting in another line at the airport to get their rental clothes. Instead, they will deliver your clothes to your hotel, and you can hold onto them for the duration of your trip. Travelers can keep their rental clothes for up to two weeks before returning them.
You must return the rental clothes to the hotel reception in the same garment bags they came in to return them. Representatives from Any Wear, Anywhere will pick up the clothes from the hotel on your behalf. Additional costs apply to customers that lose, damage, or keep the clothes for longer than two weeks.
The new program is quite accommodating, however, and they can even make delivery and return arrangements for Airbnb customers. However, there is no guarantee that they will pick up the clothes at the end of your trip, and you may need to drop them off at an agreed-upon location.
Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation emphasize sustainability with their latest endeavor. They are only using overstocked clothing from several companies instead of commissioning new materials. This new program also serves as a way for Japan Airlines to examine the difference in cargo weight when offering rental clothes.
The airline plans to disclose data when they determine whether having fewer passengers that bring clothing will have an impact on emissions. Airlines throughout the world are working to reduce carbon emissions and this is one of the most unique efforts to do so. It’s too soon to say if airline clothing rentals will reduce their carbon footprints, but it is likely to improve the experience of many travelers.