OP-ED: I Don’t Care What You Wear on the Plane

Spirit just tossed a man from a flight for wearing saggy pants. We say enough with the fashion police!

Things that I care about when it comes to other passengers on my plane: if they’ve showered in the last day or so, if they’re bathed in perfume or cologne, if they’re a loud talker, a screaming baby, an obnoxious drunk, if they recline their head into my lap, if they spill into my seat, if they are a terrorist.

Things I do not care about: what they’re wearing. Have you seen what people wear these days? Hideous track suits and pajamas are the norm in airports across the country. But who cares? Whatever’s comfortable and gets you through a long flight, wear it.

This is America, the Land of the Free! You should be free to wear whatever the heck you want on a plane. Sure, other people may silently judge you, or you may end up on whatever the airplane version of People of Walmart blog is, but that’s your choice.

That’s why I’m so offended by Spirit’s decision to kick a man off a flight for refusing to pull up his saggy pants. I mean, we’re talking about low-riding pants here. People on the flight are going to have to see it for all of five minutes as this guy walks down the aisle? It’s a flight. Passenger will be sitting down pretty much the whole way, meaning his offending pants will be against the seat. (Yes, the passenger was also “verbally abusive,” according to reports, but the alleged abuse was a response to being asked to pull up his pants … which brings us right back to the dress code.)

I guess my real issue with airlines kicking off passengers for violating their highly subjective dress codes is that it delays flights. I’m pretty sure if you asked people if they’d rather fly with an inappropriately dressed passenger or be delayed, everyone would avert their eyes from the flyer and get to their destination on time.

Agree? Disagree? Share your opinion in the comments below. And take our poll, too! 

Should airlines enforce dress codes?

Man: Sagging Pants, Shirtless via Shutterstock 

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Boston.com, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at cmorse@smartertravel.com.

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