Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Plot by Airlines to Make Us Behave Better

Okay, I'm just a few years late in hearing about the otherwise famous Kyla Ebbert and her equally famous little-white-skirt both of which had a Southwest flight attendant hyperventilating back in 2007. Seems the lovely Hooters waitress -turned Playboy model was considered inapproprately dressed for her flight from San Diego to Tuscon and she was asked to change outfits or get off the plane. Well that was then.

Oh wait, is it now?



Yeah, in a bit of deja vu all over again, actress Leisha Hailey is whining about being asked to step off a flight out of Baltimore for engaging in some kissy-kissy with her girlfriend that some other passengers apparently found too-too much. That in itself wouldn't have sent the ladies packing. Leisha apparently matched the airline's purple and orange livery by letting loose with some colorful words of her own when a flight attendant told the couple to cool their jets, or Flight 2274 would be one jet the BFFs wouldn't be traveling on.

Change the name, change the problem, airlines telling passengers they can't fly seems to be cropping up on a near-weekly basis. It happens often on Southwest, but DeltaUS Airways and Air Canada Jazz have had their moments too. And I'm wondering if the airlines are involved in a diabolically clever plot to keep us passengers off-guard.

If we don't know exactly what behavior or dress will get us asked to deplane prior to departure, will we all just start acting and dressing better when traveling by air?

At the risk of bringing up Pan Am the television show one more time, let me just suggest that in the not-too distant past, people didn't board airplanes wearing tee-shirts with the F-word emblazoned on them. They didn't reveal their underpants beneath teeny tiny skirts, or from above low-slung pants. Nor for that matter did people wear pajamas when they traveled, unless of course the traveler was pint-sized and the PJ's had feet and a snap crotch.

No, these choices are a product of the modern-age. Airlines, struggling to manage the sensibilities of an eclectic assortment of cultures, religions and orientations have a tough job trying to make sure no one is offended and too often it seems, they fail.

But air travelers, beware: To the question, "do we have a right to fly?" the answer seems to be "no".  In spite of the threats from the recently dis-boarded and their demands for apologies, airlines have a tightly constructed contract of carriage printed on every single airline ticket, which says, and I paraphrase here, behave yourself in a manner that will not disrupt your fellow passengers because on the airplane, the ultimate authority is the flight crew.


This week, Leisha Hailey is tweeting that her removal from the plane, along with her companion Camila Grey was "an outrage" and she's calling for a boycott of  Southwest. Homosexuals may be the newest but they're certainly not the last special interest group to ride the wave of publicity triggered by an involuntary departure from an airplane prior to push back.

The interest group I'd like to see start to agitate is the one demanding that everybody traveling by air board the plane, settle down, button up and pretend that we are in granny's parlor for the duration of the flight.

7 comments:

Mr Know It All 777 said...

Well said, Christine!

As a matter of fact I can't think of one issue reported in the pages of our most respected newspapers that couldn't be solved or substantially reduced by a little "personal responsibility".

Tim Kern said...

Know It All is right. We have substituted laws and regulations for common sense and morality, and we have found out that the bureaucrats can't keep up.

As for, "But air travelers, beware: To the question, 'do we have a right to fly?' the answer seems to be 'no.'" It absolutely is "no." No business MUST serve obnoxious customers; nor do they need to serve those who defy the clear conventions of the establishment (such as "coat and jacket for dinner" rules), as long as all the rules are enforced with equanimity.

Unfortunately (speaking now of the general case, and noting the distinction between law and the legitimate rights of businesses to set their own rules, since participation as a customer is voluntary), we have so many laws and rules that nearly everybody is nearly always in violation of something.

This, in turn, gives the enforcers the power to enforce whatever law or rule they feel like enforcing, against whomever they target. Using the complaints of others gives a convenient excuse for selective enforcement.

So, as always, whoever holds the Taser IS the law. Tyrants just hide behind the irritation of others, as they exercise absolute authority. With a business, people can organize boycotts, walk picket lines, and put up "I hate so-and-so.com" blogs. With a government, the options are more limited, and much more disruptive.

DantheMan said...

As a Public Transit City Bus Driver and Transit worker of 28 years, I have seen, as many of us have, the decline in Social skills in our country. Especially in today's young people. (Maybe because they grew up on "Video Games" where if you lose, you get another chance????) It is up to US, as Parents and concerned citizens to enforce certain behaviors.
Why??? We know better and we do not need a City Council telling us what is acceptable.
To much Political Correctness has brought us to the state of affairs we are in today, regarding this social decline.
I have denied ridership to individuals wearing T-Shirts that have the "F" word on them and to people who wear pants with their BUTT showing. Know what??? My company backs me up on this. As I said , it is up to you and me. Period.
Dan Delaney
Public Transit Bus Driver/
President:Return Eastern Airline Pensions

Dusty Willis said...

I totally agree with the comments. Once, when leading a trade mission to Australia, I told my team that it was important to dress appropriately; we all did with one exception. This member of our party wore jeans (clean) and a blue button down. He was the only one of the party that wasn't sent to the front of the plane.

It's so sad to see the lack of self respect and dignity on airplanes today. Despite the fact that it seems travelers in the "me" generation have no problems with feeling their self importance...they travel looking much like homeless vagabonds.

Ahmed Sultan, ITC said...

Nostalgia for the old days of decency!
I would say that there should be a dress code for airline passengers. Definitely, I am not talking about a uniform. What about asking passengers to properly cover their bodies as well as their underclothes.
For demeanor, airline passengers should not engage in extra-intimate activities during the flight.

Karlene Petitt said...

I'm shocked that was the outcome on my airline. But then I had passengers smoking on my flight over the Pacific... intentionally to see if they could get away with it. Bad passengers are not good. There are passengers that shouldn't be allowed to fly.... for your safety. And that was proven in September years ago. I read some of the articles. And, was shocked at one in particular. It's not a plot to keep passengers off the plane, the problem arises when the gate keepers lose sight of common sense.
I guess we're all human and somethings are not always handled correctly.

Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

cabin crews are not airline ambassadors. They are there to serve passengers and a link for good environment that the airline competes with other airline for.
Do you allow wrong kind of people to set foot in your house?

Zerqa Atiq
"proper business practices"