Two teenage girls wearing leggings were banned from boarding a United Airlines flight on Sunday because they were not matching a dress code for special pass travelers, a company spokesman said among an uproar on social media.
The two girls, who were traveling with one of their companions, would not have been turned away for sporting leggings had they been paying customers, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said as the airline reacted to the backlash.
The two girls were guided that they couldn’t board until they correct their outfit. They were totally fine with it and completely understood-Guerin said, adding that all 3 passengers missed the flight. He did not know if they had boarded later plane or made alternate travel arrangements for themselves.
Though the three passengers did not grumble about their treatment, another traveler, who overheard the discussion touched off a firestorm on social media with a series of tweets describing a policy she suggested, was unethically troubling women and girls.
United pass travelers are commonly company employees or their friends or family members.
Watt’s tweets and United’s defense of it touched a raw nerve for many women and girls who have made leggings an indispensible part in their wardrobes.
The popularity of leggings has sparked criticism that they are inappropriate get-up under certain circumstances. Some schools have banned girls from wearing them to class.
Social media lit up with indignation against the policy and the airline for its response to the initial outcry. Celebrities struck in with humorous protests.
I have flown united before with no pants on. Just a single top as a dress. Next time I am going to wear only jeans and top- model Chrissy Teigen tweeted in her handle.
United later put out a statement titled-To our beloved customers … Your leggings are welcome, that explained the policy for pass holders in better details.
That policy also bars midriff-exposing tops, attire that reveals undergarments in any way or is marked as sleepwear or swim-wears, mini-skirts, shorts that fall less than 3 inches above the knee or dirty or torn clothing will be not eligible.
Guerin approved that the airline, in its preliminary response to the flail, could have done a healthier job of explaining the situation and countering apparently inappropriate information about the incident that appeared on Twitter.