Airline Bans Dark Lipstick Onboard

Turkish Airlines has announced it will soon ban its flight attendants from wearing lipstick or nail polish in bright shades while on the job.

The carrier says colors like red or pink don’t match the inflight crew’s uniform, so wearing make up in those shades would “impair the visual integrity” of the outfits.

Instead, the airline says it wants its staff to wear pastel-toned makeup, as that would not only coordinate better with the uniform but also give off a more calming effect.While it’s standard practice for airlines to provide guidelines on how their staff should be groomed, the Turkish Airlines announcement has been met with criticism from some flight attendants, the general public, and even Turkish government officials. A number of Turkish Airlines hostesses have started wearing red lipstick during flights in protest of the ban.

The new makeup rules come in the wake of stricter guidelines implemented last year in which the carrier banned crew from coloring their hair platinum blonde or red, and forbade female staff from wearing silver eye makeup. The latest measure banning bright lipsticks is apparently the result of passenger complaints.

Do you think the ban is out of line? Do you care what makeup shades your flight attendant wears?

[Photo credit: Flickr user jerine]

Some Of The Many Ways To Get Kicked Off A Plane

planeWhen getting ready for take-off of any flight, we can take our seat promptly upon boarding the plane, stow our gear, be courteous to our fellow travelers and use electronic devices until instructed to power them down. Those activities are all just fine. On the other hand, smoking in the lavatory, joking about bombs or otherwise disrupting operation of the aircraft are serious matters that can get us kicked off the plane. But what other actions taken on board a commercial airliner can get us in trouble?

Checking in with Law.com‘s legal blog watch, the list is long.

  • Stripping naked or saying the F-word can get you escorted off the plane.
  • Get into a fist fight with the passenger in front of you who reclines their seat in the air and the pilot may turn the plane around and return to the airport, escorted by a pair of F-16 fighter jets
  • Pretending to be a soldier to get a complimentary upgrade to first class can not only get you kicked off the plane, but result in being arrested. The charge: second-degree impersonation.
  • Inhaling from an electronic cigarette or throwing bags of snacks at flight attendants can result in a charge of “interference with the flight crew,” a federal offense that will cause the FBI to greet you when the plane lands.
  • Take a photo of the name tag of a less-than-helpful flight crew member can get you on the No-Fly list, if not arrested.
  • Dress code violations like wearing short denim shorts that make it unclear whether ladies are wearing panties, especially when those shorts are worn with a baggy T-shirt can get you kicked off the plane.
  • Breastfeeding and children can be a problem. Breastfeeding without being covered up can result in public humiliation and threats of removal from the plane. In the same folder we find that children must behave. Throwing a fit on the plane may result in a return to the gate and the child’s entire family being removed from the plane for the safety of all customers and crew members on board.
  • Be careful what you watch on electronic devices. Passengers are not allowed to view what might be deemed “horrific” child pornography on their laptop during the flight. Do so and be apprehended by police upon landing and charged with possession of child pornography.

“You might think that after (21 volumes) of Things You Can’t Do on a Plane, that we’d have exhausted the list of things you can’t do on a plane,” says Legal Blog Watch. “Nope! The list grows daily.”

American Airlines, U.S. Airways $11 Billion Deal



[Photo credit - Flickr user Nigel Horsley]

How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist

Blending in to a city or country you’re visiting has many advantages. Among them, allowing yourself to have a more immersive experience and not falling victim to a robbery scheme involving human feces. Some cities come with their own code of conduct, such as Washington DC, where during Gadling’s recent summit we noticed anyone who stands on the left side of an escalator is immediately met with a barrage of furrowed brows and choice words. The tips below, however, can help keep you from being branded as an out-of-towner in any city the world over. Take these pointers in stride and the day will come when tourists ask you for directions while you’re out on adventures.

Be Discreet About Using Maps & Guidebooks
Let’s face it: We all get lost, even in cities we’re familiar with. But if you carry around a guidebook or unfold a large map in public, you might as well wear a neon sign flashing “tourist” over your head. That doesn’t mean you should travel sans map, but it does help to step out of foot traffic or even into a store or cafe when you need to regroup and figure out where you are.
If you do need to use a guidebook, try to unfold it so the cover isn’t visible or hold it in a (preferably local) newspaper or magazine. Another idea is to check and see if mobile guides are available, that way no one will suspect you are reading a guide as you scroll through your phone. Besides, in the age of smartphones and GPS technology, it’s easy to get around by discreetly consulting a map on your phone – just be aware of your surroundings and don’t pull out your fancy phone in a place where it could be an easy target for a robbery.

When riding public transportation, take note that the locals often use maps – but they tend to stick to the ones posted in subway and bus stations. Studying a map beforehand in your hotel or on a plane is one easy way to get acquainted with a new location that will end up saving you time (and causing you less stress) in the end.

Follow the Area “Dress Code”
One simple way to blend in is to camouflage yourself in the local mode of dress. Europeans tend to wear dark, neutral tones – but the opposite is true in the Caribbean and India where vivid colors are found everywhere. As a visitor you’ll blend in by wearing these colors, too.

Dressing for the local weather is also important. Forgetting to pack a raincoat in Seattle will surely brand you as out of touch with the local weather, as will running around in a sundress in San Francisco in February (no matter how mild it feels!). Abroad, many Americans tend to wear outdoor gear intended for hiking, skiing or similar pursuits, but these articles of clothing are uncommon in most countries. Even in cold places, the rest of the world tends to wear more formal attire, such as wool or leather coats.

In addition to outerwear, there are many stereotypically American articles of clothing travelers should avoid when going abroad. This includes sneakers, Crocs, baseball hats, cargo pants and shorts, but can also be expanded to clothes featuring the United States flag or U.S. brand names such as Abercrombie and Gap. These brands are gaining popularity across the world, but again, anything that brands you as a tourist should be avoided if you want to travel incognito. Travelers should also avoid wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, as its never a good idea to attract too much attention.

And by the way, fanny packs are not acceptable anywhere and are largely considered the ultimate fashion faux pas for tourists. Sandals with socks are a close second.

Try to Speak the Language
One of my nightmare travel partners was a person who assumed everyone in Europe knew English. She would begin speaking in her native tongue to concierges, shopkeepers, servers and anyone else she came in contact with, and when they gave her confused looks she would only repeat her question louder and slower. Sure, it can be embarrassing to put yourself out there, but making an effort to speak the local language is a huge sign of respect. Besides learning a few basic words (the translations for “please” and “thank you”) will go a long way. Be sure you know how to say, “do you speak English?” in any country you visit. It’s a great conversation starter for tourists.

Along the same lines, the less English you speak while out and about the more you’ll be able to travel under the radar. That’s not to say you and your travel partners should play “the silent game” while abroad, but it’s something to take into consideration. A great example is when taking a taxi in a foreign country. If you’re able to say “hello,” give directions and make small talk in the driver’s language and then make it through the rest of the ride without speaking English to your cohorts, the driver may never have a clue you’re from out of town. He or she will be less likely to scam you or take you into dangerous territory.

Take Things Down a Notch
All around the world, Americans are known for being louder than is customary in most countries. This includes using loud voices in public places – especially while talking on cellphones. Americans also have the tendency to use exaggerated arm and hand movements. Avoid making the wrong impression and sticking out by reminding yourself to be a little more reserved.

Resist the Urge to Photograph Everything
It’s easy to get snap happy abroad. With the discovery of new places and experiences comes the desire to capture these special moments (and bring a little photographic evidence back home). But how many times have you returned from a trip and looked through your pictures only to find you can pick out a handful of photos that represent your entire vacation? And how many times have those pictures been of the inside or a church or of a landmark that has already been the backdrop to thousands of tourist photos? It’s something to take into consideration before your next trip.

Living a little less through the lens of a camera will drastically help downplay your tourist factor. Unless you’re a professional photographer, there’s probably little reason you need to have a camera draped around your neck at all times. Camera-toting tourists are an easy target for theft because not only are they showing off expensive equipment, but they are also distracted from their surroundings. Believe me on this one, because I once nearly fell victim to a robbery while living in Quito, Ecuador. I still take lots of pictures in my travels, but I make sure to be discreet when doing so and always tuck my camera safely away when it’s not in use.

Research Local Manners
Knowing whether or not simple gestures such as a handshake are customary or which hand to hold a fork in is crucial to blending in abroad. Giving the “okay” gesture will land you in trouble in Brazil (it’s similar to flipping someone off in the United States), while not knowing how to correctly hold chopsticks in China will be a dead giveaway that you’re new in town. Knowing whether or not to tip is also very important, especially because in some countries (namely Korea and Japan) it can be considered an insult to leave one. Before you go, spend some time looking into local manners and etiquette. It doesn’t take much time, and you’ll be a much more considerate traveler after doing your research.

Stay Alert and Be Confident
Of all these tips, the golden rule for fitting in with the locals is to stay alert and be confident. Looking and acting the part with confidence will get you much further than you think. If you can do that while staying aware of your surroundings, you should have a much easier time mastering how to look like a local.

To truly blend in, become observant. If you don’t know how to do something such as swiping your Metrocard in New York, instead of fumbling at it and causing a bottleneck, take a moment to step to the side and observe how to go through the turnstile. Along the same lines, if you haven’t seen anyone walking down the street and drinking coffee in Rome, don’t be surprised to find most places don’t have a to-go option. In the same vein, if you’re lost in an unfamiliar place, at least try to look like you know where you’re going and nobody will suspect you of not knowing your way around town.

Of course, these are only suggestions. Becoming invisible as a traveler is difficult and the skill takes a long time to master. Don’t let the act of “trying to fit in” ruin your trip, and by all means don’t feel ashamed of where you come from.

[Photos (top to bottom) by Ed Yourdon / Flickr, istolthetv / Flickr, and sidewalk flying / Flickr]

Strictest dress codes – 5 countries with fashion police

dress code countries

Earlier this week, the “Burqa Ban” went into effect in France. Since passing into law, several burqa draped women have already been arrested, and the symbolic law is causing an uproar among the Muslim population of France and beyond. However, France is not the only country with authoritative garment laws. Many countries possess laws that limit what citizens and visitors are allowed to wear.

According to Foreign Policy magazine, these five countries have some of the strictest dress code laws in the world. The list includes countries from three continents, though France is the lone western world inclusion. It is odd that a country known for its fashion houses and pioneering designers is also home to such an autocratic fashion law. I would expect this sort of posturing from the American South, but clothing oppression along the Champs-Élysées seems a bit misplaced.France – Ban on burqas and niqabs
In April 2011, France’s law against burqas and niqabs went into effect. Essentially, the law is a ban on the traditional female Muslim dress and allows a police officer to verbally request removal of the veil before escorting any violator to a police station for ID verification and removal. Gadling blogger Meg Nesterov covered all of the details in a post earlier this week. The fine is 150 Euros for a first time offender and 30,000 Euros for a male that forces a woman to wear a burqa or niqab. I believe the excessiveness of the 30,000 Euro fine reveals the true intent of the law, but to fight the perception of oppression across cultures with oppression is a bizarre strategy.

Saudi Arabia – Ban on bare skin and cross-dressing
The old Kingdom of Saud has always been a leader in fashion constriction. Saudi Arabia is home to some of the strictest social laws on the planet, many applying exclusively to women. This separation of legal restrictions by sex seems austere by western standards, and though every country governs from a different cultural perspective, Saudi Arabia seems excessively sexist – placing 129 out of 134 countries in the 2010 Global Gender Gap Report. Aside from requiring a male guardian, a Saudi Woman must also wear a niqab and abaya in public as to not expose bare skin. Men also have restrictions – they are not allowed to cross-dress.

dress code countriesBhutan – Required gho and kira in public
Considered one of the happiest countries on the planet, Bhutan calculates its output in GNH – Gross National Happiness. While it is rare to read a word on Bhutan without being reintroduced to this policy on happiness, there are also other, less known measures in place to maintain Bhutanese culture. For example, all Bhutanese citizens must adhere to a strict dress code. In public, men must wear a gho – a knee length robe, and women must wear a kimono known as a kira. The dress code is older than the current kingdom and is known as Driglam Namzha.

North Korea – No pants for ladies and hair cuts for man
The hermit kingdom is one of the least visited countries on the planet. The lack of outside influences has bolstered the frozen in time North Korean culture. North Korea has a dead president, a money-pit ghostscraper, and laws governing a man’s maximum hair length. In North Korea, men are supposed to trim their hair every 15 days, and older men are given leniency so that their hair can grow long enough to cover bald spots. While most men are allotted a maximum hair length of two inches, fifty year old men and older can grow their hair an additional 3/4 inch. Women are not permitted to wear pants, and if an infraction occurs, the pant wearing offender faces a stint at one of the North’s horrendous labor camps.

Sudan – No make-up for men and lashes for pant-wearing women
In Sudan, women are punished for wearing pants with lashes and a hefty fine. Sudanese public decency laws are extremely strict and bear the beliefs of the predominantly Arab north. The tumultuous country is home to violent religious differences. With almost 600 ethnicities and a serious wedge between the Muslim north and Christian south, Sudan has been a poster child for racial intolerance for decades. While women are prohibited from wearing trousers, men too have laws governing their behavior. Last December, seven men were arrested and charged with public indecency for wearing makeup at a fashion show.

flickr images via Ranoush & Jadis 1958

The Waldorf-Astoria kindly requests that you dress up for a trip to their Starbucks

The Waldorf-Astoria may be one of the few remaining hotels with a bit of class. Even a stroll through their lobby requires guests to leave the tank top, faded jeans, cut-offs and casual hats at home. This is after all the hotel where the rich, famous and royal often spend their time in New York.

But what about popping downstairs for a tall caramel latte at Starbucks? Forget it – even patrons of Starbucks need to show some class. Coffee at the Waldorf-Astoria requires you to adhere to a “smart casual” dress code.

Oyster hotel reviews points out
that the dress code for Starbucks is stricter than the award winning Oscar’s Brasserie, where you can dine on Eggs Benedict and a Waldorf Salad (both invented at the Waldorf-Astoria).

Thankfully, the staff at the Starbucks were never briefed on the dress code they are expected to enforce, so until they get that memo, feel free to pop in for your caffeine fix wearing your slippers and tacky t-shirt.
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