What do you wear when traveling by air?
Back in the day when an overseas flight had just two classes of seating and everyone was fed real food on real dishes with real silverware – travelers felt respected and, in turn, dressed in “smart casual” clothing for their travels. Not so much anymore.
Today, the travelers you see in our airports are dressed in a wide array of clothing. Wandering through the terminal you will see people wearing t-shirts that look like they’ve just been pulled from a backpack, shorts that appear to be 20 year favorites and flip flops so worn that the sole is a pancake. People wear pajama pants and oversized sweatshirts and even plaid boxer shorts! Somewhere we have lost the sensibility of dressing appropriately in public.
What is the strangest outfit you have seen in an airport?
Our airlines have de-humanized the traveler so much that we have forgotten how to respect each other by dressing appropriately. Layers of clothing and shoes must be removed during the security screening; we have altered our dress to accommodate this inconvenience. In flight seating is less spacious so maybe the discomfort is lessened by wearing your old sweatpants and hoodie.
Would you prefer to sit next to someone in a nice shirt and slacks or someone in rumpled, dirty work-around-the-house clothes? Is there a correlation to cleanliness and type of dress?
The proliferation of “meals available for purchase” has caused us to bring a variety of food onto the flight. The associated smells can be overpowering. If you are eating from a paper bag or cardboard container the last thing you want is to spill on good clothing – so you wear old dirty jeans.
What’s the worst smell you’ve encountered on an airplane?
We all need to take a moment and think about how we are representing ourselves in public – especially when we travel. It’s not about “fitting in” but more about not standing out.
What do you think?