I generally limit this blog to my own personal saga but occasionally I just have to comment on something in the news. This article titled Airlines Can Say: You Can't Wear That touched a nerve with me.
I am all about personal rights. So long as you don't harm anyone, wear what you choose, look how you choose, live how you choose. Yay First Amendment, and all that. I am more about common courtesy. And there are few circumstances where this is more important than in an airborne sardine can where hours can be spent in quarters closer than any ordinary situation.
The article recounted some situations in which airlines, which are private companies, objected to passengers clothing. Objectors claim there is no published dress code, therefore the airline has no right to interfere with wardrobe choices. Perhaps we need a new division for the FAA, the FFP, or Flight Fashion Police, so there is something official in place.
The offense: T-shirt with "funny" message about terrorists.
The verdict: Sorry- post-9/11, there is nothing funny about it. Have a personal issue? Take it up with the FAA. Don't delay the rest of us and take up the time with airline personnel to make a statement.
The punishment: Lose the shirt or drive.
The offense: Low hanging pants.
The verdict: I am almost positive I speak for 99.9% of Americans when I say, "We don't want to see your underpants or butt." Not on an airplane, not on the street, not ever.
The punishment: We all sing the famous "Pants on the Ground" song from American Idol.
The offense: Scantily clad passengers.
The verdict: This is largely subjective and should be based on the opinion of those traveling with said passengers.
The punishment: We live in a Democratic society so we should just vote. "Passengers on this flight--this woman is showing cleavage. By a show of hands, is it OK?" I am pretty sure we would get at least a 50% yes vote. "Passengers on this flight--this man is dressed in little more than women's underwear. Is it OK?" I'm thinking a "no" vote will win.
The offense: Odor
The verdict: Whether body odor or too much cologne, unacceptable.
The punishment: Let's get double use out of the full body scanner-thing. With a push of a button, there should be a vacuum air flow to suck all the stink off. Please proceed to the deodorant desk.
The offense: T-shirts with bad words.
The verdict: C'mon. It's just not nice.
The punishment: Puffy paints at the gate to transform words on t-shirts into friendly statements.
The offense: The over-fashioned passenger.
The verdict: We get it, you want to look good. But--this is a situation in which there is a chance you may be asked to move quickly, exit on a slide or negotiate a narrow walkway during turbulence.
The punishment: Should you choose to teeter in 4 inch heels or sport a micro-mini or painted-on jeans, you must first pass through an obstacle course to prove you are agile and will not get in anyone else's way. If you can successfully navigate the course, welcome aboard.
The offense: The Pack Mule.
The verdict: There are some who stretch the carry-on limit to the centimeter or ounce. This puts fellow passengers at risk of being beaned by a bag.
The punishment: The aisle of the plane should be like an Operation game. If at any time down the aisle your belongings touch another passenger, a loud buzzer sounds and you are forced to forfeit the bag.
I think these guidelines are quite reasonable. Perhaps some less conscientious passengers would think twice before boarding. Avoiding these hassles, I think more flights would stay on schedule and flight attendants and passengers would be less cranky. Perhaps we just need to nudge some folks towards common courtesy. So what do you think, I vote for me for president of the FFP!