Published on Monday, March 27, 2017

United Airlines defends dress code after online flak

United Airlines is taking heat on social media after two girls were banned from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.
 
United's attempt to defend its decision drew further criticism with A-list celebrities among those on social media urging the airline to change its 'sexist' dress code.
 
United stopped three girls who were about to board a flight at Denver International Airport bound for Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon because they were wearing leggings.
 
One girl, aged about 10, was allowed to board after changing into a skirt that her mother had in her bag, but two teens were left in tears and told they couldn't fly.
 
The children were 'pass riders', defined as 'United employees or eligible dependents' who fly as a 'company benefit'.
 
United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said pass travelers are 'representing' the company and are not allowed to wear Lycra and spandex leggings, tattered or ripped jeans, midriff shirts, flip-flops or any article of clothing that shows their undergarments.
 
"It's not that we want our standby travelers to come in wearing a suit and tie or that sort of thing," he said.
 
"We want people to be comfortable when they travel as long as it's neat and in good taste for that environment."
 
The incident came to light when Shannon Watts, founder of gun safety group Moms Demand Action, tweeted that she had seen a '10-year-old girl in gray leggings' who 'looked normal and appropriate' being forced to change her clothing before boarding.
 
She said the airline's action was 'sexist and sexualizes young girls. Not to mention that the families were mortified and inconveninced'.
 
She added: "Their father, who was allowed to board with no issue, was wearing shorts."
 
Guerin told the Washington Post the girls 'were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel'.
 
He added: "Our regular passengers are not going to be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga pants.
 
"But when flying as a pass traveller, we require pass travelers to follow rules, and that is one of those rules."
 
Model Chrissy Teigen, actress Patricia Arquette, comedian Sarah Silverman and actor LeVar Burton all criticised the airline's actions on Twitter and said the dress code policy needed changing.
 
United said the teens 'made an adjustment' to their outfits and waited for the next flight to Minneapolis.



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  • Nosey passenger with No Clue for Facts

    To answer the question below: The "father" (which is questionable because UA stated the 2 women & 2 girls were re-routed onto another flight because the women were unprepared to change to acceptable clothing) may NOT have had a NON-REV (FREE) ticket -- he may have PAID for his whereby he can dress however he wishes. Non-Revenue tickets ("buddy passes") are standby status. These tickets/passes are for employees who can share with family and friends. However, all airlines have a professional dress code and set of professional ethics that they are required to adhere to and are to let their friends & family know beforehand should they share their passes with them. Shannon Watts (the tweeter who caused this faux pas) has undermined her own credibility and her "cause" IMO, by jumping to conclusions before knowing the entire story, and even when she DID get the scoop still beat that dead horse. I'm sure her PR staff are mortified at her newest "cause" that's blown-up and not in her favor. Unfortunately, SO many people are too quick to "put out news" that's nonfactual and ignites firestorms of disinformation that cannot be retracted, and causes good people and good businesses harm.

    By LeAnne Rigsby, Tuesday, March 28, 2017

  • United Airlines

    I understand United having a dress code for employees and dependents, but what about the father wearing shorts?

    By Judy Lord, Monday, March 27, 2017

  • United Airlines

    I agree with United airlines, if children have a dress code for their school, so be it. If United impose it for employees or dependents so be it. I wish that all USA airlines would adhere to cabin baggage rules too, not allowing people with all sizes and weights of baggage to board, just to avoid paying checked bags.

    By Peter Mackness, Monday, March 27, 2017

  • United Airlines

    I agree with United airlines, if children have a dress code for their school, so be it. If United impose it for employees or dependents so be it. I wish that all USA airlines would adhere to cabin baggage rules too, not allowing people with all sizes and weights of baggage to board, just to avoid paying checked bags.

    By Peter Mackness, Monday, March 27, 2017

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