Withering Glance: Air travel and the social contract

  • Updated: August 2, 2013 - 12:22 PM
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Flying? You’ll have lots of company.

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

CP: Flying used to have a sense of occasion. Of flash. Of panache. Now, they may as well just paint “Megabus” on the side of the jetliner.

 

RN: No kidding, and we can’t pin this devolution entirely on the airlines, with their minuscule legroom, shrinking seats and lousy — correction, nonexistent — food. Our fellow passengers are making air travel a misery.

 

CP: Let me guess, someone in the seat next to you had overapplied the Drakkar Noir and brought on a Philly cheesesteak smothered in onions.

 

RN: Well, there is that, and yes, gross. Even nastier: the mystery passenger passing gas. Continually.

 

CP: Knock, knock, you SBD offenders. We do know it’s you, but we are far too polite to actually smother you in your besmirched seat.

 

RN: My sympathies to parents traveling with kids. Particularly when they see the “Oh, great, kids” look on the faces of jerks like me.

 

CP: I don’t advocate dressing up for a flight, although it’s not such a bad idea, since the airport concourse makes a great fashion runway. But I do wonder why it has become acceptable to show up for a transcontinental flight wearing gym shorts, flip-flops and a tank top, a k a, “pretty much what I passed out in last night.”

 

RN: Or worse. I’m all for those U-shaped, poly-filled neck pillows, particularly on long flights. But don’t wear them in the terminal. It’s a pillow, not an accessory.

 

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