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 Teens grounded by manners, not by looks

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GHASSAN GHALAYINI

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بلد الاقامة : لبنان
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تاريخ التسجيل : 11/10/2007

مُساهمةموضوع: Teens grounded by manners, not by looks   الخميس 28 فبراير 2008, 11:50 pm

Long ago, when I was deep into the ugly duckling phase of my teen years, my mom would remind me that “beauty is only skin deep” and suggest I focus on being smart and nice instead.

Sort of a mixed message, sure, but definitely not the “just stand there, look pretty and stamp your feet if you want something” instructions Nisreen Swedberg and Sarah Williams seem to have received.

Police were called in to escort these two 18-year-olds off a Tampa-to-Los Angeles flight operated by Southwest Airlines this past Valentine's Day. The duo had caused an in-flight disruption. And these days, when that happens, airlines and law enforcement officials don't mess around.

What caused the ruckus? Well, it seems that first Swedberg felt sorely dissed by not being served water before take-off and then getting skipped over during the in-flight beverage service. Then Williams needed to use the lavatory, but found it occupied. Either she really had to go, or she's not accustomed to having to wait — regardless, witnesses say she banged on the door and then got into a heated exchange with the passenger who finally emerged from the bathroom.

Southwest Airlines spokesperson Beth Harbin says the police were called in to meet the flight in Los Angeles because “the girls were verbally abusive to another customer ... using profanities ... and getting in his face.”

Airplanes, especially full 737s, are very contained spaces, Harbin emphasized, and situations like this capture everyone's attention. “You cannot let an incident elevate in that environment. Flight attendants are asked to contain and calm situations as quickly as they can. But at 30,000 feet we don't have the opportunity to just ask someone to leave.”

Although it sounds like that would have been an appealing option.

The young women have a different take on the story — one they were all too happy to share with a local TV station in Tampa Bay. As the camera panned up her legs, past her brightly manicured nails and off-the-shoulder blouse, Nisreen Swedberg calmly explained how unfairly she'd been treated, how she didn't feel as if she'd done anything wrong and that she was surely singled out “based on my looks.” On the phone, Swedberg's friend, Sarah Williams, told the TV reporter, “I think they were just discriminating against [us] because we were young, decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else on the plane looked like us — except us.”

Get a clue
Ladies, it wasn't that you were “too pretty to fly.” You were too rude. And, sadly, stereotypically clueless. However, you're not alone. There are plenty of other travelers — novice and experienced, pretty and not so pretty — who sometimes forget their manners. So here are a few very simple tips to keep in mind.
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Teens grounded by manners, not by looks
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