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The Southwest Uniform

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When I was young, I often traveled on airlines. Flying was luxurious, with comfortable upholstered seats, fine dining and everyone using their company manners. Women wore dresses, and men, jackets and ties. In those days, the flight attendants were ladies and wore military-style skirts suits.

Then came the years of raising kids and paying bills. Travel during this time consisted of camping and fishing trips, outings to car shows, races and ball games.

The children grown, I took my next flight on a "new style" airline. How the world of airline travel had changed as I got older! The luxury was gone. People wearing jeans and carrying rucksacks pushed and crowded onto the plane, competing for luggage bins and seats. The seats had no leg room or hip room either. Meals had been replaced by the "snack box" which contained assorted unpalatable food-like-products. The flight attendants were boys and girls, and they wore shorts and polo shirts.

I commented on how much easier it was to serve and clean while wearing these clothes. It showed consideration from the management. The attendant said, "It's the Southwest Uniform." That phrase intrigued me.

As retirement neared, I moved to the southwest. It seems that the region did indeed have a uniform. Bus drivers and waitresses wore shorts and polo shirts. People selling lumber and real estate wore the same. So did teachers, mechanics, medical technicians, carpenters, electrician, and store clerks...even some people attending church!

At my workplace, there was a sign posted..."Shorts, no more than one inch above the knee, may be worn by all employees from March 15 until November 15." At first I was a little shocked and stuck to my skirts or nice trousers, but by June, this outsider had joined the others in the comfort of shorts and polo shirts.

When you come to visit in this area, you will find us all properly attired in the "Southwest Uniform."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BOPPY_
    An interesting and well-written blog. Thank you!

    WRT to SouthWest and other airlines:

    I used to do an enormous amount of flying. I either flew twice a week, or more round trips on the Eastern seaboard, or trips to California, or Texas, spent two weeks, or more there, and returned for 2-4 days at home (NH). (These were development projects.)

    * I never remember coach seats being comfortable, or having sufficient leg room or girth (I was much heavier, then) on any national airline.

    * The best service and most consistent service I ever experienced was on Midwest Airlines (actually once owned and run by Kimberly Clarke paper company). They also had a better seat layout than other airlines on comparable planes. However, they only ran older jets that had internal air quality problems, and they only flew among select Midwest cities.

    * The most cheerful personnel (of any “national airline) with the best, most consistent service, by far, were with SouthWest. This was especially true in the summers, in the Midwest, where the SW personnel were the only ones that were comfortable.

    * The worst service and personnel I ever experienced, by far, were on Air California. The United personnel at SFO (San Francisco), were a close second for worst.

    Lee emoticon

    1245 days ago
  • GAILANN48
    Love the uniform! BTW, thank you for your support and encouragement on my feed, Friend. Are you writing anything new?
    1249 days ago
  • AMBERBREEZE
    Enjoy your southwestern summer in southwestern style emoticon emoticon
    1256 days ago
  • IMLOCOLINDA
    I was just having the airline conversation with someone the other day...the luxury and formality of it all and now how casual and messy...everyone traveling in sweats so they can sleep comfortably on long flights. Funerals where no one dresses up, or in some cases even cleans up??

    I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me, but I still don't own a pair of shorts.
    1256 days ago
  • KAREN608
    True things are getting more casual. Certainly easier to get dressed in the morning, right?

    I like your label for this.
    1256 days ago
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