Saturday, November 7, 2009

Naked Air

"Naked Air" was a 2003 commercial flight where you guessed it, once the plane hit cruising altitude, passengers were permitted to take off their clothes. Now I don't know about you, but my first thought when I get on a plane is, "When can I take all my clothes off?"

We’re talking some pretty friendly skies – but not too friendly. “Inappropriate behavior” wasn’t allowed. That’s right. They asked people who would strip naked in an airplane to know what inappropriate behavior was.

I'm imagining the pilot greeting: “Ok, ladies and gentleman, I’ve turned off the seatbelt light, so go ahead and take your seatbelts off. In fact, take everything off. Me and the copilot, we just pitched the skivvies ourselves. That is one cold ejector seat panel!"

Just kidding. Like the flight attendants, pilots stayed clothed, at least while they were still sober.

Let's hope naked flights become the norm. Despite the fear of dropping peanuts where you’d be mortified to retrieve them from in public, think of the advantages. No more clothes wrinkled by seatbelts. No more having to wonder what your seatmate looks like reaching for overhead luggage wearing nothing but headphones. No more worrying about staining your clothing if you get airsick, although airsickness may be harder to avoid depending on who you're looking at.

Thomas Friedman already pegged the best parts of flying au naturel in the twenty-first century in a New York Times column. “If everybody flew naked,” he wrote, “not only would you never have to worry about the passenger next to you carrying box cutters or exploding shoes, but no religious fundamentalists of any stripe would ever be caught dead flying nude, or in the presence of nude women, and that alone would keep many potential hijackers out of the skies. It's much more civilized than racial profiling.”

I guess profiling here would be if you needed more than a larger-than-average wallet to sit in first class. But no matter where you sit, you won’t get burned by spillage from hot beverages. Those will only be served on regular flights, the ones where people are cruelly, unthinkably forced to cover more than just their airfare by staying dressed. Oh, the humanity!

Where is this going? Will other modes of transportation soon follow suit, or birthday suit? Maybe a bus

driver will announce that while my three buck fare doesn’t guarantee me a seat, it does give me the right to let it all hang out. Also I would really appreciate it if on cab rides, I could just disrobe in lieu of a tip.

I know what you're thinking – the idea of flying naked just seems kind of weird and indecent. But you should really get over it. Because everybody knows, this is exactly what those playboys Orville and Wilbur Wright had in mind all along.