United Airlines is defending its right to block passengers over their attire after it was called out for stopping girls in leggings from boarding a flight.
The airline replied with rules about its dress code to several people on Twitter on Sunday after a witness tweeted that she saw gate agents blocking three girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.
The witness, prominent gun violence activist Shannon Watts, accused United Airlines of policing female bodies and sexualizing young girls, one of whom she described as a 10-year-old in gray leggings. One of the passengers’ fathers, she pointed out, was wearing shorts and allowed on the flight without question.
United Airlines responded to Watts first by pointing to a rule in its Contract of Carriage that gives it the right to refuse transport to passengers “who are barefoot or not properly clothed.”
The rule does not elaborate on the definition of proper attire, but the airline tweeted that it leaves that up to the discretion of gate agents.
In a second response to Watts ― and several other Twitter users enraged by the airline’s policy ― United Airlines said the leggings-clad passengers were “pass travelers,” or passengers traveling as relatives or dependents of a United employee, and therefore subject to a stricter dress code.
The airline sent the same defense to several outraged people, including actress Patricia Arquette.
She snapped back at them after they responded to her stating that pass travelers must dress in “good taste.”
Other social media users promised United Airlines they’d show up for their next flight with the airline in the the stretchy pants ― which are no stranger to controversy in recent years as schools have moved to ban the “distracting” pants on campus.
Meanwhile, supermodel Chrissy Teigen, who has no problem challenging companies’ double-standards when it comes to women’s bodies, said she’ll skip a top all together on her next United Airlines flight.
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