Fear, Loathing, Flying – Hat Tip to David Sedaris

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On my recent 13+ hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney, brief layover in an Air New Zealand lounge (score!) and a short hop to Melbourne I carried on board the last five print editions of the New Yorker (yes, I do need an iPad!). And what a treat as a snuggled into my seat on the first leg – a David Sedaris original piece about the joys of air travel, “Standing By – Fear, Loathing, Flying”.

Respecting that the New Yorker prints an excerpt of the piece, and requests that you subscribe digitally, I won’t quote over-liberally. In fact, for a daily dose of Sedaris, you can hook up on Twitter with @DailySedaris – which is in constant receipt of Sedaris quotes from this piece, including this one:

I should be used to the way Americans dress when travelling, yet it still manages to amaze me. It’s as if the person next to you had been washing shoe polish off a pig, then suddenly threw down his sponge, saying, “Fuck this, I’m going to Los Angeles!”

That was an LOL’er for sure, but I wonder if Mr. Sedaris has ever flown Virgin Blue Down Under. It’s the little domestic airline that could compete with Qantas because, hey, it’s owned by Richard Branson. I like to call it “the people’s airline”, a sort of equivalent to Southwest in the US, without the open seating plan. Virgin Blue seems to have opened up the skies to Australians who wouldn’t have any other affordable way to get from Perth to Mildura for a weekend – and that’s okay. It’s the dress code (or lack thereof) that puts you on high alert for people who look like they may have just been washing a pig a half hour before boarding.

Looking the part

For your own safety and with the consideration of others in mind, Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue have a list of minimum dress requirements. These are:

* Footwear (thongs are acceptable). All adults and children who are capable of walking must wear suitable footwear.
* Shorts.
* Shirt (singlets are acceptable).
* No clothing displaying offensive language or symbols.

If you do not meet our minimum dress requirements, you will be denied travel at that time and until you are dressed appropriately.

I’ll be flying Virgin Blue around Australia for the rest of the month. Fortunately, I left my thongs in San Francisco.

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