United Airlines came under fire this morning after a story leaked about a 10-year-old girl and her family being refused service because three of them were wearing leggings and this was against the airline’s dress code, which was stricter for the girls since they were traveling as guests of the airline.
One of the girls was allowed to board after changing into a dress from her carry on bag. The other two girls in leggings were not allowed to board the plane, with officials citing a dress code violation policy.
“If leggings aren’t allowed then what about shorts and dresses. Sounds like united Airlines is bodyshaming,” said one Twitter critic.
The Daily Mail reports:
The row began when a fellow passenger took to Twitter in bewilderment on Sunday morning after watching the agent tell the girl, and two others, that they were inappropriately dressed.
‘A United gate agent isn’t letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?’ Shannon Watts said, tagging the airline in her tweet to prompt an explanation.
‘She’s forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can’t board.
‘Since when does police women’s clothing?’
The gate agent told the girls she ‘doesn’t make the rules, just follows them,’ Ms Watts added.
She quickly gathered support from other Twitter users who were just as shocked as she.
Despite the agent’s apparent claim that she was merely following policy, the airline responded to Ms Watts to say that it was her decision if someone was suitably dressed.
It defended its right to refuse a passenger entry based on apparel and referred critics in the thread of tweets to its ‘Contract of Carriage’.
The contract’s only mention of dress code is to allow agents the right to refuse anyone who is ‘barefoot or not properly clothed’.
Stunned critics lambasted the airline for defending the policy.
‘If leggings aren’t allowed then what about shorts and dresses. Sounds like united Airlines is bodyshaming,’ said one.
‘United Airlines is defending their decision to prevent pre-teen girls wearing leggings from boarding a flight due to their attire,’ another wrote alongside a string of thumbs-down emojis.
Its Twitter operators continued to defend the decision without going in to further detail on Sunday morning.