Amy Foster
August 26, 2013 1:00 pm

So, I have done a little traveling this summer. Have you? Realistically, I fly about every month. I travel every other month on my own to Nashville for work and then it seems my family and I have weddings or big birthdays or something that requires flight time to attend during the months I don’t go away for work.

You can call me a snob (The Heatley Cliff is a pretend MANOR house, after all) or an elitist or whatever, but there are certain things that people wear when boarding a plane that just make me cringe. It’s as if passengers have grown to believe that the airport is their bedroom and the plane itself is their bed. Look, I’m all about comfort, especially on long flights, but there are ways to dress up extremely casual clothes so that you still have a certain flair. Why bother, you may ask? Because your flight attendants and pilots are doing their best to look professional so that you, their passenger, feels that they have everything under control. How confident would you feel if you saw your pilot in an Ed Hardy T Shirt and a pair of Tevas? They dress a certain way to make you feel comfortable, and the least you can do is reciprocate by respecting their place of work. Here’s how:

  1. DO NOT wear your pajamas.  It seems fairly obvious, right? Your pajamas are what you sleep in. In private. In your bed. There’s a reason they are in the same section as “intimates” in the department store. Find something comfy or if you must, change into PJs on the plane if you are on a long haul and plan to sleep. But please do not walk around the airport in your bathrobe.
  2. Shorts. Does this surprise you? The exception, of course, is if you are already in a tropical location and are flying from one island to another. But otherwise, put some pants on. You know why? Because airplanes are cold AND DIRTY. You want as little exposed skin on as possible on your seat.
  3. Flip Flops. What if – God forbid – there is an accident and you have to make a run for it? It’s all about TRACTION, people! And also, with few exceptions, feet are just unattractive. I don’t want to have to look at someone’s talon like toe nails for five hours. Ugh.
  4. Excessive cologne or perfume. A little spritz behind the ears is lovely, but dousing your entire body in Obsession or Axe body spray can be nauseating. Just because you like the smell of something doesn’t mean the person seated next to you will. Which brings me to my next point-
  5. Underarms without deodorant. Maybe you are an au natural type of person. Maybe you are the type of person who uses a salt crystal and believes that the aluminum in deodorant causes Alzheimer’s. Fine! But have mercy on your seat partner and suck it up for a few hours. Even if you are SURE you don’t smell, please realize you might not be the best judge as you have been living with your personal BO every day.
  6. Super short skirts and shirts that show off your boobs. A couple months ago, I sat next to a woman who kept stretching out and experiencing a wardrobe malfunction. This woman was not nursing a baby. I did not want to see her nipples. I kind of gestured to her chest area after a while and she just shrugged and pushed her shirt back up. She knew the risks involved when she wore a shirt that was so low cut, and she didn’t seem to care. A plane is not a club. Even if you are flying Virgin America and it looks like the inside of a club, it is still NOT A CLUB. There are families on your airplane. There are people going to funerals and important business meetings. I’m not saying you should wear a burka but I’m also saying that an airplane is not the place to show off your knickers or other assets. Keep it classy.
  7. Unwashed clothes. Look, I get it. Sometimes your luggage gets lost. Sometimes you’ve been backpacking for a month through Thailand. But if you are planning to get on a 12 hour flight, please don’t just assume that the shirt you have been wearing for the past week does not smell. Hey, maybe it doesn’t- but be neighbourly and don’t risk it. I’ve washed out an entire outfit in my hotel bathroom the day before a flight, jeans included. A T Shirt is no big deal.
  8. A rape-y expression. Yes, I just used that word because I have had to sit next to someone who gave me one for three hours straight. You might be a dude thinking you are just checking out a hot chick, but anything more than a passing glance is leering. Respect the fact that you are trapped in a metal tube thousands of feet above the earth and that the hot chick has nowhere else to go. It’s scary when someone is sitting that close to you and you just know what they are thinking. Look away! Read a book! Play Candy Crush!  Take cues. If your neighbour doesn’t want to talk to you, staring certainly isn’t going to get you any play.
  9. A ski jacket, or similarly bulky coat in the middle of summer. We live in a post 9/11 world people! No need to alarm the plane unnecessarily. If you get cold as I do on airplanes, layer it up and throw on a wool cardi. I also always travel with a wrap of some sort- which can do double duty as a blanket or pillow.
  10. A massive carry on that should technically be checked. Come on. Is checking a bag so terrible? Will that extra 15 minutes you have to wait at the airport ruin your trip? People can be so stubborn about their carry-ons. But if you cannot lift your bag overhead yourself, if you need help to get it into the compartment and help to get it back down again, IT IS TOO BIG. If there is an accident and that bag comes flying at me, I will die. The fact that you are holding the plane up because it’s taken you five minutes to try to wrestle it out of the bin till someone helps you and it keeps catching on the seats as you walk by means it is really not a carry on at all. Just check it.

Well, that’s me and all my preachiness done. Fly safe people!

Photo via me two weeks ago at Portland International Airport.

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