Yesterday marked my first day off probation at my airline. To "celebrate," I woke up at 2:30am for a 4AM showtime. Five legs and six flying hours later, I found myself in Helena, MT.
So despite my newfound freedom to go slumming, I'm still wearing hat & tie, and am turning out at 5AM in freshly pressed shirt and slacks. Why? Because if pilots expect to be treated as professionals, they should look the part. That's a somewhat unpopular opinion in the regional airline world, perhaps because enforcing hat rules is the way certain chief pilots exercise their power and justify their job. Hat issues aside: we need to be professionals in the public's eye if we want to improve our profession, and that's all I have to say 'bout that.