Hat switch is OFF

While checking the United ALPA website today not only did I find a letter addressed to pilots (which has some valid points but is a bit emotional and overdone, in my opinion), but I also found that the hat switch is OFF! This is the first time in at least a couple of months it has been off. What does that mean? As the website explains:

The Hat Switch is now in the “OFF” position. The hat switch is now OFF. Anytime you are likely to be viewed by management, DON’T WEAR YOUR HAT. In the concourse, on the jetway, wherever. Show solidarity with your fellow pilots, show management our solidarity…. DON’T WEAR YOUR HAT.

I understand that they want to show their solidarity, but come on, what does not wearing your hats prove? What bothers me the most about this is that ALPA claims to be the voice of the professional pilot, and I see nothing professional about looking unprofessional on purpose.  

So if you’re flying UA I’m sure you’ll notice pilots not wearing their hats. If anyone sees pilots wearing their hats, please report here. I won’t be flying till May, at which point I’m guessing the hat switch will be ON again.


  1. Hmmm. Does anyone in the flying public really give a rats’ behind whether a pilot wears a hat or not walking through a terminal? Consequently, does airline management care? Frankly, I didn’t know that there was even such a rule.

  2. I’m pretty observant when flying and even I didn’t notice it until I started hearing about this from pilots, so you’re of course correct in saying that no one really cares (other than me since I’m blogging about it ;)).

  3. Well, I know that now that I have read about it here, I will instantly notice any pilot not wearing his or her hat. And I will question them as to why they are so poorly dressed.

    Do all airlines have this “dress code”?

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