3 Links I Love: The Only Thing I’ll Say About Leggings, Branson Gets Worse, Sonoma Growth

Links I Love, Virgin America

This week’s featured link:
Why Is Wearing Leggings to the Airport Such a Shameful Thing?Vogue
A few have asked me to comment on this whole stupid kerfuffle where United denied boarding to a couple of pass travelers for wearing leggings (which aren’t allowed per pass travel rules). All I can say is that there are dress code rules, and pass travelers need to obey them. It is the responsibility of the employee to know the rules and pass them on to anyone who is riding on a pass. Should leggings be banned? What the hell do I care? Just obey the rules. Articles like this which try to turn this isn’t some sinister sexist thing are just maddeningly ridiculous. The only real issue here is how poorly United handled the initial response (saying it could deny boarding to anyone and pointing to the contract of carriage). Had that been handled better, then none of us would have to be talking about this.

Oh, and Delta? Don’t be such an ass about this. You deserved this response. We’ll see how you like it when you get into hot water for something similar.

Two for the road:
Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson bashes Alaska Airlines at Seattle launchUSA Today
This guy is unbelievable. You’d think when you earn a few hundred millions (at least) selling your airline, you’d have a little respect for the buyer. Yet Richard Branson continues to bash Alaska for hurting his precious little baby. As strange as that is, there were two other things that really jumped out at me in this article.

First, Branson apparently thinks that the most valuable part of an airline is sunshine and rainbows. He think Alaska is trashing the brand so he says “I wonder what it was that Alaska bought and why did they bother?” Uh, Alaska bought a lot of gates in LA and San Francisco, some slots in the northeast, and eliminated a competitor.

Second, could it really be true when Branson says that Alaska has to pay the royalty to use the Virgin America brand through 2040 even if it doesn’t use it? I asked Alaska but they wouldn’t comment. This story has more.

Economy gives Sonoma County Airport a liftSan Francisco Chronicle
That’s two links that riled me up, so let’s go with one that’s totally benign for the last one. Here’s an look at the incredible growth in Santa Rosa.

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24 comments on “3 Links I Love: The Only Thing I’ll Say About Leggings, Branson Gets Worse, Sonoma Growth

  1. 3 cheers cranky! (me retired airline nice too that Delta doesn’t allow too young pass riders up front [where before this rule] they could kick the seat back in front of them)

  2. Oh, the fact that they were pass holders completely changes the equation, I think. I was all up in arms about them being denied boarding based on headlines, but if they’re flying on employee family passes, that’s a completely different story. “To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.”

    There are still real sexism issues here in that clothes that teenage boys, in practice, wear routinely are acceptable but clothes that teenage girls, in practice, wear routinely are not.

    1. I don’t see anything sexist about this. Boys don’t wear leggings, but if they did, they would be denied just the same.

  3. RE: Branson-he’s in Seattle-Delta owns 49 percent of his precious Virgin Atlantic, and is in a death match with Alaska in Seattle-considering what a big mouth the guy has, I’m actually amazed he was as mild as he was. And remember his business plan for Virgin America was “only to fly to Hip Cities” He actually said that-no wonder the airline loss mega millions, and finally look at his record with airlines around the world-it’s fairly abysmal.
    RE; Sonoma-what is it with you guys in Cali-“let’s find a 5000 ft long runway-and put big jets on it” :) .
    Great to see this for Sonoma-have friends there who volunteer their time at the Air Museum.
    It is a nice airport-hope they keep growing.

    1. I had totally forgot that Virgin was only flying to “hip” cities. Unfortunately my clients don’t care about what is hip but do care about making money. Oddly most of the places I travel were never Virgin destinations.

      Also, cheers to you Cranky for stating logic in the leggings issue. If it were up to me there would be a dress code for all passengers, not just non-rev. I’m appalled by what a lot of people wear onto planes these days. I get that on long flights you would want to wear something comfortable, especially in coach, but it doesn’t need to be slobbish. I’m impartial on leggings but dress code is dress code.

    2. That logic makes no sense. Branson does not own Delta or any part of it. Delta owns part of “his” airline, but helping Delta compete in Seattle isn’t going to financially benefit him.

  4. The girl’s father is lucky he could even wear shorts on the airplane. When I worked for an airline it was Suit & Tie dressy clothing or you didn’t fly at all. Nothing like being the only person wearing a suit on a Non-Stop flight to Hawaii, talk about standing out in a crowd and looking stupid…..LOL

  5. Branson should watch what he says about Alaska. One of his other firms “Carbon War Room” is working on a contract managed by the Port of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, and Boeing.

    Not that Branson cares about biting the hand that feeds him.

  6. Your response was 100% correct….every company has legal right to determine what their dress code is for employees..
    As a former airline person was told day 1 that travel is a privilege..not a right…..so all who complained, especially the movie people..get over it…and United could have defused the entire “non-story” if they had said at the beginning that the two were flying as employees and did not follow the company dress code! Nothing more needed to said…they caused the problem to get much bigger.
    Don Witte

  7. This leggings thing is just another instance of the SJW’s “shoot first and ask questions never” mentality. A total non-story whipped up into a frenzy by a collective of irresponsible and hateful people. After the dust settles and the even-minded among them begin to see the cracks in their storyline, is there ever so much as an apology for the individuals and entities trashed? Nope. No learning or understanding, just on to the next one. As for the media outlets involved that pump the false premise in the headline, it perfectly illustrates the term, “drive-by media.”

    1. I couldn’t agree with Wes more.it ticked me off following the story.and all the reports they did exactly what you’re not supposed to do in journalism and that they buried the lead.

      They either did this because they were incompetent or because if they reported the actual facts it didn’t fit their loony left wing narrative.

      The rules are totally clear and spelled out. That’s why you have to be very careful to Whom you give your passes.

      I know for a fact United has relaxed the dress code the past 10 years or so. The number of years ago I had a pass and I was lucky enough to get first class on the international flight. Before the agent gave me my boarding pass she actually came around podium and had a look And made sure I was just probably. I certainly didn’t mind I knew the rules and I followed them.

      Personally I think the busybody who actually tweeted that out on social media deserves a slap her self. Well that’s just a figure speech.

  8. I’m confused on your stance on leggings. You say you don’t care, which makes sense, but then you link to the Vogue article? Just curious, is there a reason why you didn’t link to One Mile At A Time’s “The False Narrative Has to Stop” article instead? That describes the facts accurately without taking a stance on whether leggings should be banned. (Another OMAAT article talks about whether leggings are appropriate, but that one doesn’t.)

    Again – not trying to criticize you, just genuinely curious to understand your thought process.

    Thanks as always.

  9. While I agree that United is technically in the right and the non-rev passengers should have followed the policy, no other passengers knew they were non-revs when the situation occurred. So when non-revs walk up to the gate, it appeared the gate agent was treating fellow passengers poorly and tried to stand up for them (albeit in a passive-aggressive way). It seems to me the only reasonable path is to allow non-revs/pass travelers to follow the same dress code as all other passengers–unless they are wearing a uniform or other company identifying outfit.

    1. That would be something for the employees (who earn that benefit) to negotiate with their employer (the airlines), not for the general public to decide.

      1. I don’t disagree with your point. But if a member of the public observes something that he or she perceives as discriminatory or unfair and shares it on social media, that’s when PR issues like this happen. It’s a new world, unfortunately. The airline was in the right–but if a company’s image takes a hit with the public (and I’m not totally sure it did in this situation), does it matter who’s right?

  10. Glad you mentioned everything I wanted to say. How stupid media & social media reacts to the incident, how UA should have handled, and how ass DL is. Thank you !

  11. To United’s defense, the gate agent was talking to the non-rev passenger and revenue passengers overheard the conversation and spread it. United’s problem is that they have two sets of rules for two groups of passengers and try to enforce them at the gate. just like the overhead bin access rules, there will be public blowups when you try to segregate passengers which is completely against the American mindset of equality of all.
    To Delta’s defense, United and Delta have traded barbs for years. Delta clearly jumped in because it was looking for an opportunity to connect with passengers and based on the very screenshot which you posted, they got lots of traction with paying passengers for “being an ass.”

    All if fair in love and war and I doubt seriously that UA would have held back at the next opportunity to take a swing at DL any more than they or AA have done in the past or any of the three or any other competitor will in the future.

    If you don’t like the heat, stay out of the kitchen….?

  12. 1) I feel like this has been a topic on my Facebook feed for a while. But, in this case, rules are rules and they were fairly clearly stated. If you want to wear leggings, buy a ticket and you can wear a lot more.

    2) Nothing like biting the hand that bailed out VX. I’m still not sure if VX would have survived the next major downturn.

    3) It’s nice to see STS growing. I wonder if there’s enough space in that small terminal for all these new flights?

  13. Several points: Non-story about leggings gained traction because American public has developed immunity to “fake” news. SAD!

    Incident is also a valuable lesson/reminder that we bring our own bias to encounters; that situation(s) may not actually be as they appear to us – a lesson the observer and poster needs to note.

    Lastly, seems to me, notwithstanding pass rider dress code, business establishments implement and enforce dress standards for employees and customers all the time – so, can’t quite understand the brouhaha when airlines enforce standards. After many years of travel, I’ve observed that A personalities need to almost always establish themselves as ‘rater/commentator’ and/or ‘expert’ – they can NEVER EVER board quietly, sit down and shut-up!

    1. That’s true. However, in a society where there’s a right to free speech, people will have their say. Period.

      Social media have enhanced that right. Like it or not.

      So, companies have to understand that whatever they do in public can end up going viral almost immediately.

      So, if they have rules that can be misinterpreted by the public and the misinterpretation goes viral to the detriment of the company, whose responsibility is it? The company could have avoided this by making the wearing of leggings allowable. It didn’t really think about it, but relied on outspoken passengers not to speak out. Well, in a perfect world a company might rely on a responsible media, and on people not jumping the gun. Further, the airline might have been right from the perspective of “the rules are the rules”. However, they ended up looking stupid on social media. Well, that’s a win for stock holders, isn’t it? Just a though, maybe if they want to have these rules (as is their right), better make sure they are up to date, and not subject to misinterpretation. Otherwise, people will complain and castigate them on social media.

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