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The East African : Apr 22nd 2017
II MAGAZINE FREQUENT FLYER SAFETY MEASURES Making the foreign familiar while travelling The EastAfrican APRIL 22ò28,2017 FALLING STANDARDS: Today, the aeroplane has been built for greater efficiency, and more seats have been added into the cabin. However, the traveller’s sense of grooming, personal hygiene and decorum have taken a nose dive THE EVOLUTION OF STYLE AND DECENCY Michael Otieno, Special Correspondent T Travel is, by definition, dislocating, a condition that the trend toward experiential travel and the connectivity provided by the Internet aim to ease. Strategies for dealing with the physical side effects of travel start with the basics, including getting adequate sleep and exercise. Travel can induce anxiety when trips fail to meet expectations or don’t go as planned, as when a bucket-list museum is closed. Anxiety-prone people may have a hard time making decisions. Remove them in small ways, like travelling with only a carry-on, which reduces wardrobe choices and worries about lost luggage. To feel more at home, try out the local lifestyle by staying in a nontouristy neighbourhood, eating outside of hotels and using public transportation. The following options can help travellers feel more at home while they’re away. Staying with residents The original bed-and-breakfast model is built on a personal interaction with the homeowner. That has, for the most part, been amplified in the sharing economy through home accommodations services like Airbnb and Couchsurfing. The more remote the destination, the greater the likelihood of bunking with a local. Eating with residents Getting into strangers’ homes doesn’t require burglary. Invitations to dinner — for a fee — pour forth from a range of services such as EatWith, which offers home meals made by locals in over 200 cities. A recent search on the site turned up enthusiastic amateurs and a few professional chefs. Touring with residents Some cities sponsor free greeter services that offer private walking tours with local volunteers, including Chicago Greeter and Brisbane Greeter in Australia. Meeting with residents Meetups, or group gatherings, may forgo the sights entirely but unite people with similar passions. The website Meetup.com compiles group activities, like practicing a foreign language, knitting and political organising. - New York Times here was a time in the not so far history of commercial flying when an opportunity to take to the skies meant dressing up for the occasion. Everything about taking a flight was geared towards an occasion, from the exquisite dress code observed by passengers, the flawlessly groomed crew, to the properly laid out dining experience — which was several courses, by the way. Caviar, lobster, champagne and cigars formed part of the inflight menu, and there was proper cutlery, glassware and chinaware for onboard service. And who wouldn’t want to dress up for such a fine dining experience? Dubbed the “Golden Age of Flying,” there was also an unwritten minimum standard of dress, conduct and decorum for passengers. Flyers actually queued up for photos to be taken of them before boarding the aircraft. Over the years, while flying has become safer than a short drive to the mall, numerous changes have transformed the onboard experience. Today, the aeroplane has been built for greater efficiency, therefore flights are longer, and more seats have been added to the cabin. However, the traveller’s sense of grooming, personal hygiene and decorum have taken a nose dive. The transformation can be equated to a mass-produced product. Flying has become affordable for many. The sense of style and flair with which passengers travelled has been eroded as fashion and etiquette have been transformed since the 1960s. Now it is almost as if there is a competition for the “worst dressed” or most “indecently dressed” passengers. Most airlines do not have a dress code for their paying passengers. For non-revenue passengers such as staff and their dependants, there is a strict dress code and code of conduct to be adhered to whether travelling on duty or otherwise. Failure of non-revenue passengers to adhere to an airline’s dress code and code of conduct can lead not only to denied boarding but also a ban from travelling on the airline all together. The dress code becomes even more pronounced where staff or their dependants travelling on non-rev- enue tickets expect to be seated in business or first class. In some cases, the dress code extends to business class lounge access where they insist on smart casual wear. The fact that there is no dress code for paying passengers is no carte blanche for travellers to breach the boundaries of decency. Sometimes airlines will use veiled statements like, “While there is no formal dress code in any cabin, we do appreciate that appropriate clothing for travel is worn.” Some dressing goes against decency laws and accepted norms or is not respectful of the local customs and culture. For instance, clothing with offen- sive language and symbols may not be accepted for boarding if it is likely to offend other passengers. In addition, bad body odour and smelly feet can be uncomfortable for other travellers in this era of lengthy flights. Here’s to bringing back style and decency in flying. Michael Otieno is an aviation consultant based in Nairobi. Twitter: @pmykee143, Email: email@example.com.
Apr 15th 2017