Remember air travel in the 1960s and 1970s, or perhaps earlier? People dressed up to fly on an airplane. Even for frequent travelers, who could have been blasé about the experience, men wore suits and ties and women wore stylish dresses, hats, and gloves. Passenger rage was unheard and poor service was uncommon.
Yesterday while waiting to board a flight I spoke to a fellow passenger who complained that she had to endure an eight-year-old child crying and sassing her mother during a five-hour flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles. I empathized with her, especially later when I approached an airline counter to get my seat assignment and was curtly told by the ticket agent that she was handling a different flight.
Air travel today is so different than my first airplane ride in 1966, as a six-year-old, when I flew from Phoenix to Kansas City. I wore a red blazer and tie. It never occurred to me to misbehave.
The way you dress matters. A 2009 survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com showed that 41 percent of employers admitted to promoting people who dressed professionally. Licensed Professional Counselor and retired public educator and counselor Carole Bell sums up numerous studies that show dress affects how children behave. Being dressed up impacts your mental state. It turns an everyday occurrence into a special event or makes you feel that your conduct has to rise to the level of the way you are attired.
Half a century ago, it was understood that more formal dress led to better manners. While it is unlikely that suits and dresses for air travel, let alone daily activities, will make a comeback, perhaps with greater attention to attire behavior can be improved.
Question – Do you think people should strive for the refinement of prior decades? How would you bring it about? Please leave a comment below.