Pants: Previously, they were required when checking in for a flight — pants or pants equivalent. This, apparently, is no longer true. Witness the case of the mysterious blonde woman checking into her Virgin America flight, unburdened by a desire to cloak the bottom half of her body in movement-restrictive garments. Or any garments, really.
Now: We have no ideas what's going on here. A marketing stunt? Sure, maybe, though the subtext is confused: "Drop your pants, fly Virgin!" Performance art? A tribute to Edie Sedgwick, the modern originator of the no-pants aesthetic? A lost skirt? A successful attempt at temporarily corralling the Internet's attention?
Whatever the reason, one thing is sure: This look is actually more stylish than the flying experience demands. Forget, for the moment, that she's not wearing half of the clothes we'd expect: She's otherwise kitted out in a nice jacket and ballet flats.
Airlines increasingly treat its passengers like cattle — even as the industry has bounced back from high oil prices that, in years past, cut profits to the bone. Now oil's cheap, but fares have stayed high, and airline profits have soared — not that you'd know, given how assiduously they've maintained (or increased) the myriad fares that have taken so much of the fun out of travel: $200 to change a domestic fare, plus the fare difference? How is that justifiable? (Sample headline: "Airlines report record profits even as customer complaints soar.") Virgin's not as mean-spirited as some of its competitors, but it'll still charge you for a checked bag or $20 to make a reservation with a person instead of a computer.
They've been punking us for years. If they want to treat us like an ATM, we might as well unburden ourselves of the position that flying is anything but a no-pants joke.