Q: What do you think of that guy who was denied boarding on his flight because he was wearing a track suit and had a seat in first class? What should you wear in first class?
A: Boy, did United—the airline in question here—really screw up. He clearly should have been allowed to board, as he wasn’t breaking any official airline rules. I personally think wearing workout clothes when you’re not actually working out looks a tad sloppy, but it’s totally unreasonable to deny someone boarding because they’re wearing a track suit.
However, despite the lack of an official dress code, first class does seem more formal than coach. I assume that’s due to self-selection—it’s mostly business travelers, who (big surprise) tend to wear business attire. So if you’re seated up front and want to blend in, go for business casual at least. Besides, first class is a great place for networking—do you really want to meet the CEO of a company you’d like to work for while sporting sweatpants and a “Hard Rock Café Cancun” t-shirt?
Q: Can I bring my kids into the specialty restaurants on a cruise ship?
A: It depends on your kids. If you take them out to a “family” restaurant like T.G.I. Friday’s or Bennigan’s, can they make it through a full meal without a meltdown? If not, you’re asking for trouble if you try one of the swanky restaurants on a cruise ship. However, if your kids are generally well-behaved in restaurants, and—this is important—you’re willing to get up and leave with them if they suddenly turn into screaming monsters, you can give it a shot. Just tell the person seating you that you’d prefer a table near the door, in case you need to make a quick exit. (This is assuming your cruise line doesn’t have a minimum age requirement to dine in the specialty restaurants, of course. Some do.)
Q: Do I really have to be quiet in the Quiet Car on Amtrak? I can make a cell phone call as long as I’m not too loud, right?
A: Of course you need to be quiet in the Quiet Car! It’s not called the Quiet, Except for the Occasional Moderately-Loud Cell Phone Conversation Car, is it? I hope your comprehension issues don’t extend to other things with completely straightforward names. Like stop signs.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2009, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service