Question: I'd like your thoughts on a conversation I overheard on a plane. A young woman was seated in front of me next to an older woman she didn't know. The younger woman was wearing a very cool outfit, including unusual over-the-knee boots. I'm by no means a fashionista myself, but they were obviously designer. At one point, the older woman started quizzing the younger one about the boots. Where did she get them? (Somewhere in New York.) Who made them? (Gucci.) How much did they cost? The young woman handled this rather well, I thought, by saying she had bought them at a sample sale last summer and couldn't remember. Isn't it rude to ask a stranger how much they paid for something?
Answer: It's rude to ask anyone how much he or she paid for something. I don't care if it's your best friend wearing the Gucci boots. It's not polite to be nosy about her spending habits. I think the young woman in front of you handled her inquisitive seatmate perfectly. However, I have to say -- thigh-high boots on a plane? I pity whoever was behind her in the security line.
Question: My friend offered to drive me to the airport on Dec. 23 for my 5:30 p.m. flight. I accepted -- the airport is kind of far away and it would be expensive for me to park there or take a taxi. Well, I saw my friend's schedule on her fridge and she's supposed to work that day. Her boss doesn't like people leaving early or switching hours (I used to work there, too), so the earliest she could possibly get me to the airport is 4:25 p.m. That worries me. What should I do?
Answer: Your flight will start boarding around 5 p.m. That gives you only 35 minutes to clear security and get to the gate. And it'll be two days before Christmas, when airports are usually mobbed. That's a recipe for disaster.
So talk to your friend and ask what hours she's working on the 23rd. (Who knows? Maybe the schedule you saw was out of date.) If she is, tell her you appreciate her offer to drive, but you're going to make other plans. You don't want her to get in trouble at work, and you don't want to miss your flight. Then suck it up and pay for parking or a cab or look into public transportation.
Update on the recent knitting question: A reader alerted me that knitting American-style on a plane can invade the space of the person seated beside you (as she learned on a sold-out cross-country flight). If you do knit on a plane, please be sure you keep everything in your own space.
Email travel-etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin@deartripadvisortripadvisor.com.