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Southwest Airlines Community

A Different Perspective

Aviator C

A lot of you are familiar with the Southwest Airlines Customer who was asked to cover up her outfit, and there has been a lot of attention devoted to this subject.  In fact, the Customer was on the Today Show this morning.  You might be interested in the perspective of one of the show's producers, Dan Fleschner.

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Explorer C
Thanks for your stand on this issue. I support the action you chose to take. It is to bad that a society has to be so blind to common sense.
Explorer C
Shame on you, Southwest. ***IF*** there is a passenger dress code, enforce it *before* the plane is boarded. It is wrong to let other passengers determine the dress code.
Explorer C
I have been a big Southwest fan for years and now I'm an even bigger Southwest fan! Way to go guys for standing up for a little decency and defending family values. I think that girl should feel a little embarrased for not covering up. You guys are always friendly, fun, not prudish at all but will say something politely if the line is crossed. Love you even more, my loyality just keeps going up!
Explorer C
To Another View, Thank you for making me aware that Mr. Lusk has provided a forum for all to spew our venom. If you read his last posting, he is trying to deflect responsibility from SWA for this ungodly issue to NBC because they did the same. As for SWA allowing us to spew the venom, I posted an opinion on this blog that SWA has decided that it does not belong and has "moderated it" out. Let's get real for a second, if SWA did not want to review what the public is thinking, why would they have opened this thing up in the first place? Blogs like the old fashioned grape vine are beings used more and more by management to get the "feel" of the public or customers. Also, to whoever made the comment about SWA being a private is not it is a publicly held company traded on the NYSE and they must comply with certain securities law as well as FAA regulations. On top of that, being a public company, one of their first duties and obligations is to the public as well as the shareholders and not the personal views of management. Here's a suggestion, why don't we kick the whole thing up to the FAA and ask them for a ruling on the definiton of "allowable" dress on an airline flight as well as whether an airline can refuse service to a paying customer who has not broken any law or regulation but is being denied service based on arbitrary and unpublished rules of travel.
Explorer C
Forget the outfit, that is not the issue. The real questions is "how was the situation handled?" I'm surprised I haven't seen any discussion on of that. I'd have to assume that the SWA staff is trained how to handle awkward and challenging situations with customers. Had the steward quietly asked the passenger to the front of the plane and explained the problem out of earshot of other passengers this situation may not have escalated. If it was indeed handled poorly, if the confrontation was public, and if the passenger was truly lectured, then I think it is an example of training that was not properly followed or training that was no tproperly provided. The girl was going to feel a little humiliated, even if she was addressed with respect and understanding, but she would have likely dealt with it and moved on. What upsets people is when they are treated roughly, without respect and compassion. That is the nut of the issue, and that is what I'd actually be interested in hearing about. The debate about dress code is old and tired, and it is one that will never go away, and no one will ever win or lose the argument.
Explorer C
Thank you, Southwest, for showing concern for families and children and public decency.
Explorer C
Come on! I'm sure we haven't heard the WHOLE story. Typical of the majority to jump the gun and believe everything the press & the "victim" says! Her story said she was asked to go to the jetway after the flight attendants had started their "safety spiel" (her words exactly). If that's the case, the flight attendants start their safety demo after the plane has pushed back and is taxing on the tarmac. Total flaw in her story! She also said she had her tray table down and was just reading a magazine. Who knows, did the flight attendant ask her to put her tray table up and that pissed her off? I've actually seen this happen....people get upset when the crew asks them to do something. Was she putting her bag up in the overhead bin and her butt was hanging out all over the place? If so, maybe somebody sitting there with their kids asked the flight attendant to say something to this girl. There are so many reasons why this (possibly) happened. And we ALL should realize the press & the "victim" are only going to let the public know partial details. I'd like to hear from someone that was actually on this flight.
Explorer C
Southwest, this is why I love you all. I greatly applaud you all for asking the individual to cover up her outfit. Although, this might not be the best publicity for you all, it shows you have family values which are hard to find these days. You all are offering a service to the passengers and if they choose not to abide by these rules then you don't have to serve them! Thanks, Southwest for keeping our sky's safe!!
Adventurer B
WOW!! The assigned seating post has been dethroned! It is amazingly ridiculous that a post about whether Miss Ebbert has the right to flash her gross anatomy to all within eyeshot (a complete non-issue, the irrational indignation of most responders notwithstanding) has generated more responses than something that is actually material to the operation of and Customer experience on Southwest.
Explorer C
Thank you for standing up for modesty!
Explorer C
THANK YOU, Southwest! I'll choose YOU for my next flight.
Explorer C
Wow! I'd like to thank the many people above who said they will no longer fly Southwest. It'll make it that much easier for me to get an aisle seat on the exit rows. Hang in there, SW. Since I wasn't there, I'm not going to judge anyone.
Explorer C
As a father of a 24 year-old daughter who flies occasionally, I am disappointed in Southwest Airlines' handling of Kyla Ebbert. I just saw the outfit she wore on your airline. Although the dress is short, I don't find it offensive (and this coming from a father). For an airline that has prided itself in being user friendly, I think you blew it this time. A sincere apology and maybe even a settlement may be in order. This is ridiculous. This isn't the Middle East. Women shouldn't have to cover up their legs if they don't want to.
Explorer C
Brian- kudos for allowing ALL of the posts to be on here. Does this rival the "assigned seating blog" comments or what??!!
Explorer C
What's indecent is what the LAW says, not what SOUTHWEST AIRLINES says. SW Airlines is a PUBLIC carrier, they are supposed to transport the public who stay within the law. Southwest, this was just wrong. You should apologize.
Explorer C
After hearing this i will no longer reserve tickets for my clients, via southwest . this is a violation of her civil rights. esp if you dont have a dress code. i will also advise all my client to withdraw from there dontation to charities you represent as there is no need to endorse you anymore. if she would have been naked i would understand.
Explorer C
I like a short skirt as well as the next guy . I don't want to be seen looking at a skirt so short that exposes her indecently . In all of her description of everything - I repeat everything she wore that day ; she never mentioned panties . She made several references as to her 'complete' outfitr. Her myspace,blog,and interview , listed other underwear ( a bra ) , never panties . I've got a feeling that decorum prevented SWA from pushing the point.
Explorer C
Thank you Southwest and to the employees who had to make that judgement call. I bet it was a hard decision but I'm sure their were sighs of relief from moms who had to answer their children's questions and men trying their best to honor their wives.
Explorer C
Brian McBride wrote... This young woman should NOT have been wearing such attire on the airplane, in my opinion. As with every airline, there is a contract of carriage that limits your rights in exchange for air travel. I would imagine that these terms and conditions are in writing and could have been reviewed by the young woman prior to air travel. However, the median educational level of a waitress at Hooters usually precludes comprehension of the material in the aforementioned contract. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Really Mr. McBride? You're going to call Hooters waitresses stupid? You obviously think of yourself as supremely intelligent, so why couldn't you stop to think that making broad generalizations about a group of people is about the LEAST intelligent thing to do? So Hooters waitresses are stupid? What other generalizations about a specific group of people would you like to make? Would you like to generalize about African Americans, Jews, or any other group that has been historically maligned by closed minded people like you? Here is an assertion and generalized statement that I can make about Hooters waitresses: they work hard and earn thier money in a legal way just like waitresses at any other restaurant, or any other person with a job for that matter. Please, don't assume things about people's intelligence by the way they dress or where they work.
Explorer C
Im glad I dont watch NBC news. Seems they are now hiding the original interview where they had to black out her private area. Just shows they are trying to create a story that is not there. Also how do we know that is the way she wore the outfit that day. Why should we believe everything she has to say. Leave it up to her lawyer and her to keep waiting to decide if they should sue.(3 months later and they are still thinking about it.) How sad that people are already saying that Southwest was wrong. Take it to court and let the whole thing come out and let the judge/jury decide. Not the uninformed public.
Explorer C
I fly your airline (1-4 times per month) because of your single aircraft business model and your on-time performance. On most flights I wish your flight attendants would just shut up and let me enjoy some peace and quiet. Flying is stressful enough - the corny jokes and stupid songs and smart alec and many times too personal comments just add pressure to an already hectic day. This story just burns me. Leave your customers alone - other airlines meet your fares, don't make us stand in ABC lines and don't fly out of outdated terminals with horrendous concessions and facilities. Apologize to your customer. Your employee went over the line and needs a course in diplomacy. Oh, and the "club seating" has been gone for years, so seriously, think about it. Who the heck was going to see her underwear with the generous 8 inches of leg room between rows? This was personal, and not about other customer's comfort or abut decency.
Explorer C
If I read correctly, this event happened over 2 months ago. Why is it just now making the media circuit? Slow week, I guess. I still haven't figured out if "Keith" was the flight attendant or customer service agent. Either way, I am willing to bet a passenger(s) made a comment in regard to her outfit. She may have been giving a peep show while waiting in the gate area. SWA is not and should not be the fashion police, however, if a passenger is dressed in a manner that is offensive something should be said. (Passengers have been asked to remove or turn inside out tshirts that have offensive saying on them.) If Keith asked her to step into the jetway, he was trying not to make a scene. She was dressed to get attention and she got it. If she was truly humiliated and embarrassed, why did she fly home on SWA? There is a good chance SW management knew nothing of the incident until Kyla contacted the media. SW is not going to make a statement until all the facts are gathered.
Explorer A
Thank you, Kim Seale for once again being the voice of reason.
Explorer C
I do not like anything about the way Southwest handled and is handling this. Since I have not seen a statement from Brian Lusk or anyone at Southwest stating the facts as Southwest sees them, then I have to go with what I've read from the various news sources. If the people that support Southwest's actions don't mind being lectured by Southwest employees on what they should or should not be wearing and why, then fine. As an earlier poster said, someday this could be you, no matter how conservative you consider yourself. Yes, Southwest is a business and can impose whatever rules they want on their customers. However, I'm over 21 (in fact I'm 52) and I'm not going to listen to an employee lecture me on what is clearly a subjective matter. I'm going to take my business elsewhere. I believe Southwest needs to apologize for their employee's actions. That's what Ms. Ebbert said she wanted, and I think that's the least Southwest should do.
Explorer C
The actions of this Southwest employee were completely offensive and I can't believe that Southwest is attempting to defend them. Shame on you. I will never fly Southwest again.
Explorer C
Thank you for sticking up for family values. I am a single father with two daughters. You have done what I wish many others would do...protect the interests of my children. Television and media today has no sense of morals. The media uses hype and shock for profit at the expense of a better society. This woman claims she is ashamed of the attention - but clearly dressed to attain it. Where does it stop - star studded nipple rings as proper attire?
Explorer C
SWA is in the service business and they do a hell of a job. Can you imagine trying to keep that many people happy in a short amount of time in your job? All they were doing was trying to appease the customers who were concerned about the Hooter girls outfit being too revealing. The girl should have been more conscientous in her choice of outfits (she flashed her panties when sittting down on the Today show). I'm guessing that this isn't the first time she has offended others with her outfit. Its just that on a plane, others can't leave.
Explorer C
I think Southwest did the right thing. All I can say, is that the way you dress advertises something about yourself. What message are you sending?
Explorer C
I suppose SWA has the "right" to fly those individuals they feel fit their idea of an appropriately dressed passenger. It is also the right of the consuming public to choose it's airline based on the company's professional behavior or lack thereof. In this case, what was this employee thinking?! I hope you all are thinking damage control in a big way because you have a PR nightmare on your hands!
Explorer C
Mr. Lusk states it "boggles his mind" to equate this action with the tactics of the taliban. Read your history lessons. It all begins with one tiny step. Perhaps persons with "boggled minds" will not be allowed on SWA next time? Put your money where your mouth is, people. Boycott SWA. Off to the UAL friendly skies ~~~
Explorer C
I am not a big fan of Fox TV. Their politics and agenda seem to be just right of Mussolini, but I have to say I admired them when they were bombarded with mail about how bad a show "Married With Children" was by half-witted people like Terry Racolta. Then they had to face the withdrawal of advertising by large companies like Proctor and Gamble when Ms. Racolta started a letter writing campaign saying that if these companies continued to sponsor the show, she and all her blithering idiot friends would not buy their products. Instead of taking the path of least resistance and pulling the show, Fox said: "We think it's a good show and we are going to keep it on and if you don't want to watch it, you have a remote control. In addition if these companies don't want to advertize, we'll find others." Racolta was trying to get Fox to do what she should be doing and that is guiding her children's viewing, but because she was lazy or too preoccupied with her own activities to monitor them, she wanted everyone to do without, so she could, essentially, ignore her responsibility to raise her children correctly. This is self-centredness in the extreme. We have now sunk into a quagmire of petty people getting their way because they whine louder than anyone else. It is common for insecure women to despise who they consider to be attractive, but we should not have to suffer for their insecurities. Watch a football game. To stop women trying to have it banned (ostensibly for the violence on the screen, but really because they don't want their husbands comparing them to the cheer-leaders on the field), the NFL allows little to no shots of the cheer-leaders! How weak have we become? Secure women, women who know their worth and value, could not care less what their husbands or potential lovers watch on TV. This case is just more of the same non-sense. What in the name of all that's holy, in the "Land of the Free," if that moniker can even be used rationally anymore, can possibly justify taking that woman off the airplane and then making her cover her legs with a blanket for the trip? Has SWA gone mad? Does no-one remember the 1960s and early 1970s when the miniskirt was all the rage? Panties were almost always visible and so what? The dressed were shorter than this woman's skirt and after a while a glimpse of panty was not the depraved thing it is now, because one saw it all the time! It was commonplace and accepted, except by a few religious nuts, like the Dutch Reform Church in South Africa which blamed the drought on the miniskirt, claiming God was upset by it! Is that the thinking now? Or is it the personal insecurity and low self-esteem of a few voiciferous American women who don't have the time, discipline or inclination to diet or look after themselves and they don't want to be compared to attractive females. Are we to be governed by the low self-esteem of a small insecure clutch of women? My sister was visited by her Germaine Greer/Gloria Steinem influenced friend who, though not a Catholic, had joined the "Catholic Women's Movement Against Porn" in Ohio. On that visit, she saw a penthouse in the living room and asked why my sister let her husband read such things? My sister replied that her husband is an adult, so "letting him" read this, or anything else was not up to her to determine; he was free to read what he liked, also, why shouldn't he read these magazines. Her response was very revealing. She said: "I wouldn't let Bill read them, I wouldn't want him comparing me to these 18 and 19 year old bodies?" That was the real reason she joined the Catholic WMAP, not for moral reasons. I remember her when she was young and attractive and she was quite open minded about her body and sexuality. This new "Morality" grew in direct relation to time and gravity's affect on her breasts, so this was just simple hypocrisy. Folks, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee before the mediocre take over. SW Airlines, grow a backbone. Tell the insecure flight attendant or whatever she is, to calm down and get on a fitness regimen if she wants to have nice legs too. If she doesn't feel so inclined, then she must accept the fact that there will be occasions when she will see women who are more attractive than she is. That's life - deal with it.
Explorer C
Have any of you out there condemning Southwest even considered for a second that this gal might be lying? You might want to take a look at these and get a better idea of this girls personality : Her Lawyer pulled her Myspace account, want to guess why? According to one of the passenger's on the flight not only was she NOT wearing panties but she was not wearing the white shirt either. She had that in her handbag for her "Dr's appointment". It's always been my experience on Southwest that passengers are taken out into the jetway for private discussions, not in full view of other passengers. I find her entire story...fishy.
Explorer C
Thank you Southwest. I am soooo tired of seeing girls dressed out there like they are ready to hit the streets to make a living. I see nothing wrong with appropriate attire as in stomachs and butt cheeks covered up. I mean come on what about my rights not to have to look at this live soft porn. I believe everyone's right to dress as they want is a given but "dressed" is the operative word here and from the description on the news this young woman was clearly trying to get attention with as little "dress" as possible. She needs some self asteem counseling and her Mother needs lessons in how to act like one. Shame on the Mom for allowing this girl to grow up with so few values and such disrespect for the world at large. I would rather hear the views of the passengers on that plane then to listen to Ms Ebert's whinning.
Explorer C
Sadly this is not the first occasion for SWA dress code violation. I recall Someone in Reno being kicked of for wearing an Anti-Bush tee-shirt. This was labeled as disruptive too. The passanger was massively inconvenienced by being kicked off the flight. Here's the legal issue. Since you are a private company you can obviously choose to refuse service. The problems arise when there is likely a massive non-uniformity in enforcement of what seems to be a policy passangers are not aware of. If it's SWA policy to have a formal dress code, they should post it for all to see. They should also provide people ( like they have in Saudi Arabia for instance ) to let the passengers know when their attire is inappropriate. This seems to be unique situation for a non-islamic airline. Saudi Air has a policy, but at least people understand this up front.
Explorer C
I find this story very disturbing. There was nothing wrong with her outfit. I am a 100% sure it was an insecure, overweight, unattractive female that complained. I am really annoyed by some of the comments for the Holier-Than-Thou women. I am sure they are overweight, miserable, and wish they had nice bodies. My associates and I have decided we will no longer travel with Southwest Airlines. We are all very attractive with nice bodies. We donÃ
Explorer C
Just the fact that this is the only post you put up here in reference to the incident says a lot about the arrogance creeping into what used to be a LUV airline! And the remarks of a producer don't take away anything from SW's prudish cultural policing... or from the unneccesary humiliation of a customer from an airline that pretends to succeed on customer friendliness. The only thing that remains for SW to become another american airline now is ... no, definitely not an acceptance and an apology... but a phony customer who'll claim that she complained about that dress! go get it SouthWest!! (can't dare call it LUV anymore)
Explorer C
Kudos to Southwest!!! My family and I have the right to not have to see someone's "hooters" and everything else revealed in such an outfit. Save it for the club. Eating establishments, stores, and other businesses have signs that say, "we reserve the right of admission," "no shoes, no shirt, no business." Many places have dress codes for dining etc. Why isnt' anyone pitching a fit about that? It's accepted. It's their business and they have the right to say whom they want to serve.Why is it, Southwest does not have that right as well. Planes are tight places. What about others rights
Explorer C
I just watched the interview with this customer online and let me say that we call got a peek up her skirt when she sat down. Now that she has managed to show the nation her underwear maybe she will dress more appropriately. I have to say that I believe that there should be some dress code for flights and that it should be up to the discretion of the flight attendents. If another airline patron was uncomfortable with this woman's outfit, I see no problem with asking her to cover up. It would be a little different on the street where you could choose to remove yourself from the situation but on a flight you are stuck with it. I miss the days when flying in itself was an "event" and people dressed for it.
Explorer C
In the land of the freeeeee....... ???????
Explorer C
I for one am thrilled to hear that someone is taking a stand against indecent attire. YES, that young woman has a right to dress however she wants, but the airline (like any other business) has a right to decide what standards to enforce on its property. (Similar to "No shirt, no shoes, no service.") Bravo, Southwest! You've just become my airline of choice!
Explorer C
Well done Southwest. Thank you for doing what a lot of us would like to do. I appreciate some people have the need to flaunt themselves but why should the rest of us have to put up with it???? Keep up the good work!
Explorer C
Have you flown on a plane? Hello there is absolutely no leg room and definitely not enough room for someone walking down the isle to see up this woman's skirt. I think it was ridiculous that she was asked to cover up. Why aren't men ever criticized for what they where?
Adventurer C
If the woman had been so embarrased by the attention, I don't think she would have taken the return flight in the same outfit. Had I been in her shoes, I would have bought a tshirt of some kind in the gift shop to wear over my outfit. This is a tough call for the airline when you have other passengers on the airplane complaining to the Flight Attendant because they are offended. They have to consider everyones feelings. It's their job to ask the person to cover up. For mothers that breast feed, they always offer a blanket for the mother to cover up and the mothers seem to appreciate it.
Explorer C
I applaud SWA for this move. I'm sick and tired of having to see what I don't want to see just so someone has the "right" to dress innappropriately. If some man came onboard wearing those tight, short shorts we all remember from the early 80's and exposed himself, you can darn well bet they'd do something about it. For goodness sake, when she appeared on "The Today Show" to defend her outfit, I got a nice full shot of her panties! Does this girl (and her mom!) think that's appropriate? Give me a break!
Explorer C
Bravo Southwest! I respect not only the handling of this situation, but the fact that you followed through despite the potential negative fallout against your company. More people support you in this than you will ever know!
Explorer C
Why has no one considered the fact that MAYBE the flight attendant spoke to the woman as a means to avoid a conflict on a flight? Let's give flight attendants a break, can we? Due to all the changes, increased security and hightened awareness of potential dangerous situations, finding an extra pillow on a flight is the least of their concerns today. Let's look back at what might have happened had the employee suggested the complaining party "take it up" with the scantily dressed passenger. And let's assume someone sitting next to this woman had a problem with the way the complaining party spoke... so they in turn spoke up. Things can quickly heat up in an area like an aircraft and maybe, just MAYBE the flight attendant was trying to protect everyone on that flight from a dangerous situation and thought speaking to her was a quick and efficient means to controlling a situation. But no, we as a society have to make this about everyone's "RIGHTS". Flying is not a "right".. it is a service. If you do not like the service with which you have been provided.. sue, right? Come ON. This media explosion over such a ridiculous situation will in no way change the way I travel. If SW is able to provide my family of 4 the cheapest flights, I will travel SW. If they cannot, I will look elsewhere. But I will not change my plans based solely on this one woman's complaint.
Explorer C
Good for you SW airlines! Yes, we as Americans have the right to dress the way we please, and yes SW did have FA dressed in skimpy shorts in the 70's all that is true. The problem lies in the fact that in a skirt the size of a band aid- there had to be private bits on display- either with or without underwear. If she was really that embarrassed (which I doubt) then why dress in such a way ? Seems that nudity is becoming the norm these days! Showing your crotch is no longer considered illegal but just what young pretty women do! She was not the only one who has rights? How about all the men women and Children who just wanted a pleasant Family friendly flight? Thank Goodness some one has some common sense, Why in the world are people like Paris, Brittany, Lindsey and this Kyla Not being arrested for showing their Crotch in public? Are we so far from a moral standard that this is ok behavior and dress? Where does it end? Should folks be allowed to just forget clothes all together? Why even mention where she works? What does that even have to do with it? I also noticed that in the photos she has here shirt pulled up and down over her hips... Come on people are you so gullible as to really believe that she was TRYING to cover up? If anyone wanted to see the peep show she was giving ... they could have stopped for some wings off the plane!
Explorer C
I have been a world traveller since 1981, so I have had a chance to sample the culture of airplanes for twenty five years. When returning to the U.S. after a year in India and month in Japan, I found myself in Los Angeles in the Southwest terminal in August. What struck me was the rowdiness generally of the place. Not the adults but the children, who, in Asia, almost anywhere in public were polite and obedient to any adult in their vicinity. The American children in the terminal were brats, frankly. So if the reputation of this airline is easy going, well obviously that all ended. Travelling is supposed to be an adventure. Encountering different people is par for the course. As much as Americans are fixating on controlling everything in their environment, travel is not about that. So, sorry for the comment that got censored yesterday, but I am very disappointed with the airline for what happened to this lady. In the words of Emerson, "Americans are afraid of life, afraid of death, afraid of each other, afraid of themselves" . I certainly wouldn't want scare you with my hourglass figure anytime in the near future.
Explorer C
I applaud the Southwest employee who had the common sense and decency to ask a passenger to clothe herself properly. Male or female, public attire should have a shred of modesty. There should not have to be a dress code on a particular airline, rather our population should have a shred of pride and decency instilled by parents, schools and the media. Let's all go back to using common sense about what we wear in public. What you wear in Hooters or on the beach is not appropriate attire for travel on public transportation? Or didn't your mother ever teach you that?
Frequent Flyer B
What great news for all of us weary travelers! Thinking back through the history of the blog, there have been several flashpoints that really seem to irritate frequent flyers: the rude and pushy line-jumpers in the ABC boarding groups; the chaos and delay created by folks bringing everything but the kitchen sink onboard and trying to stuff it overhead; getting stuck in a center seat and departure delays due to people quibbling over what seat to take. Based on the inflammatory comments, bizarre theological and political comparisons, insults, and overall trash-talking of hard working SWA Employees, I'm thinking that all of these "I'll NEVER fly Southwest again" people were some of the ones who made flying unpleasant for so many others. Just think how much more peaceful and enjoyable our future flights on Southwest will be now that these folks have volunteered to take their business elsewhere! We'll be left with those of us who appreciate exceptional on-time performance, outstanding fares and the best treatment of passengers in the airline industry, and who willingly and gratefully choose to fly on Southwest any time possible! Kim External Blog Boy, who tries to make lemonade out of lemons and then looks at his glass of lemonade as half-full 🙂