What a great idea! Honor your crew — wear a tie when you fly

By | August 17th, 2010

Yesterday’s rant about rude passengers in my MSNBC column drew a suggestion from a reader that I wanted to share with you. It came from James Phillippe, who, like many of us, is tired of air travelers who misbehave.

He writes,

I have experienced the inconsiderate traveler many times. I don’t have a forum to say or do anything about this bad behavior. So I have decided to tell others what I am going to do. I have decided to always wear a tie when I am flying to honor the hard-working flight crews and tell them why I am wearing it.

I have decided to make it a bright red one so others won’t miss it. Please forward this idea to other guys and help me spread the word. I don’t know what to ask the girls to wear, but maybe a red bow would be good.


I like that idea.


Not because flight attendants are victims who need our charity. These good men and women applied for their jobs and love what they do. They don’t deserve our charity, as some media observers have suggested in the wake of the Steven Slater meltdown. But they do deserve our respect.

Dressing up makes sense for passengers, too. A survey commissioned a few years ago by Fodor’s Travel Publications found that 77 percent of the men and 68 percent of the women said they dress up when traveling because they get better service. They reportedly concluded that dressing up is the secret to getting the full can of Coke, the cherished upgrade, and individual attention.

I wonder what would happen if more passengers dressed Old School when they traveled. You know, a little less Easy Rider, a little more Mad Men?

Could a simple tie, or bow, restore civility to the skies?

Related story:   XL passengers invade my economy class seat -- and airlines let them

There’s only one way to find out. If you like this idea, pass it on to a friend.

(Photo: r ust man/Flickr Creative Commons)



  • Jrolfsness

    Mr. Zander were you once in the Army Air Corps? If so can you email me at Jrolfsness@gmail.com? I have a class year book of my grandfathers from his flight training. A W.T. Zander was in his flight detachment, so I googled your name.