Green Day incident spurs question: Should airlines enforce dress codes?
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland last week because he was wearing saggy pants. A flight attendant reportedly asked the alt rock singer, 39, to pull up his trousers. He refused.
Armstrong tweeted "Just got kicked off a Southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the f---? No joke!" He was allowed to board the next flight to Burbank, and Southwest has since apologized.
But why would the Southwest flight attendant think it was her right to comment on a rock star's dress? Because Southwest's Contract of Carriage, listed on the carrier's website, includes a dress code.
In its passenger rules, the carrier states it can refuse to transport "Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive."
Armstrong is not the first to be kicked off a Southwest flight based on dress.
Southwest also famously booted a college student who worked as a Hooters waitress in 2007, reportedly because her skirt was too short and tank top too revealing. She was allowed to stay on the flight when she readjusted her clothing.
While there was a time when carriers required those in First Class to dress up, most airlines have relaxed those standards. Except, two years ago a top executive of Best Buy was denied a First Class seat on a United Airlines flight, reportedly because his Puma tracksuit was deemed too casual for the front of the plane.
Like Green Day's Armstrong, a University of New Mexico football player was kicked off a US Airways flight in June for wearing low-riding pants. In the case of Deshon Marman, he was arrested when he allegedly resisted. The charges didn't stick.
US Airways' passenger contract, like that of Southwest, makes for an interesting read, stating that those who are "barefoot, or otherwise inappropriately clothed, unless required for medical reasons" can be denied boarding.
But the whole concept of proper clothing is subjective. US Airways had no problem with allowing an older man dressed in skimpy women's lingerie to fly last June. A surprised fellow passenger on the Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix flight snapped a photo.
We welcome your comments on airline dress codes.
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Commonly mispronounced places around the world
I have a distinct memory of the moment when, after moving from the West Coast to the East Coast for college, I heard someone say something about “Or-e-gone"—and then continue on with their story as if they hadn't just invented a 51st state. Never in my life had I heard the place pronounced in any way except "Or-ih-gun" (rhyming with Morgan). I'd soon discover that this was a matter of debate on this side of the country. Maybe I shouldn't have rushed to judgment—it didn't take long before I was schooled on the correct way to say "Worcester," (woos-ter, for the uninitiated). We all know that picking up a foreign language can be tough, but sometimes, even mastering the name of a place you're visiting can be a challenge. From countries (the Maldives, Qatar, Papua New Guinea) to cities and towns (Beijing, Gloucester, Cairns), and even streets (New Yorkers will scoff at tourists looking for Hue-ston Street rather than How-ston Street, for example), it seems that for every place there is to visit, there are two or three ways to butcher its name. We've started a list of places with hotly debated or commonly botched pronunciations below—do us Budget Travelers a favor and chime in: is there a country, city, or town with a name you hear mispronounced more often than not? How about a place whose name you’re stumped on? Beijing, China – Americans usually pronounce the name of the Chinese capital city something like beige·ing, but the correct pronunciation is in fact bay·jing. Cairns, Australia – this one is hotly debated, but a representative from Australia's Local Tourism Network, which represents the city, assures us that the correct pronunciation is can. (same goes for Cannes, France). Edinburgh, Scotland – ed·in·burr·ah, or ed·in·bra, in the local style. Gloucester, England – glos·ter. Also goes for the city of the same name in Mass. Iraq – let's clear this one up once and for all. ir·ock (not eye·rack). The Maldives – mall·deeves Papua New Guinea – pa·pew·a noo gi·nee, with emphasis on the first syllable in Papua. Qatar – kah·tar, with emphasis on the second syllable. ">This report from NPR breaks down the controversy over the pronunciation. For the record, the U.S. Embassy of Qatar is still using this pronunciation. São Paulo, Brazil – sa·ow pow·low Spokane, Wash. – spo·can (not spo·cane) Versailles, KY – ver·sails (on the other hand, Versailles, France is pronounced ver·sigh; best not to confuse the two). Wilkes-Barre, Penn. – wilkes ber·ry or wilkes bear (not wilkes bar). The city even has a ">web page dedicated to the pronunciation and history of the name. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: What’s your biggest language gaffe? The tackiest tourist photos on the web 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2011
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