When it comes to in-flight dress codes, we had always assumed this only applied to a plane crew. But all that changed recently when US carrier United Airlines banned two teenage girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing..wait for it…leggings!

leggings flight ban

Yep if you thought your casual flightwear was an inoffensive way to stay cool and comfortable on a flight, then you’d be wrong.

Tweeting live from the scene of the incident Shannon Watts – founder of the anti-gun violence organisation Moms Demand Action –
revealed her horror as a 10-year-girl sporting grey leggings was forced to cover herself up with a dress by the gate agent. While she was allowed on, the two girls were not.

leggings airport ban

Watts described the move as “sexist” – in light of the fact their father had been ushered onto the flight while wearing shorts –  and fellow travellers and social media users were quick to stand behind her view:

Others, however, felt that that the airline’s actions were a non-issue considering their policy:

United also responded with their take on proceedings:

“United shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage.”

They added, ” This is left to the discretion of the agents.”

Hmmm. To shed more light on the matter United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin spoke to The Washington Post. While he confirmed that the two teens weren’t allowed to board the flight, he said this was due to the fact that the girls were travelling using a United employee pass and as a result “were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel”.

He also outlined that other passengers won’t get a wrap on the wrist for relaxing into their eight hour journeys:

“Our regular passengers are not going to be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga pants,” Guerin said. “But when flying as a pass traveller we require them to follow rules and that is one of those rules.”

So what do you think of United’s rules? Join the conversation on the Woman Facebook page.

Leggings airline ban – the breakdown!

Just FYI here’s the full list of fashion no-nos for non-rev customers. We wonder what airport legging aficionado Charliz Theron would have to say?

  • Any attire that reveals a midriff.
  • Attire that reveals any type of undergarments.
  • Attire that is designated as sleepwear, underwear, or swim attire.
  • Mini Skirts
  • Shorts that do not meet 3 inches above the knee when in a standing position.
  • Form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dresses.
  • Attire that has offensive and/or derogatory terminology or graphics.
  • Attire that is excessively dirty or has holes/tears.
  • Any attire that is provocative, inappropriately revealing, or see-through clothing.
  • Bare feet
  • Beach-type, rubber flip-flops

Is this extensive list necessary? That’s for you to decide.

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