US air­line’s leg­gings ban sparks so­cial me­dia frenzy

New Straits Times - - World -

WASH­ING­TON: A ma­jor Amer­i­can air­line found it­self at the cen­tre of a so­cial me­dia storm af­ter it barred two girls from board­ing a flight in Denver on Sun­day be­cause they were wear­ing leg­gings.

An­other girl, who was also wear­ing leg­gings, was al­lowed to board the United Air­lines flight from Denver In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Min­neapo­lis af­ter she changed, a wit­ness said.

The in­ci­dent was re­ported on Twit­ter by Shan­non Watts, founder of fun re­form group Moms De­mand Ac­tion, who was a pas­sen­ger wait­ing to board an­other flight to Mex­ico.

“She’s forc­ing them to change or put dresses on over leg­gings or they can’t board,” she said. “Since when does @united po­lice women’s cloth­ing?”

“A 10-year-old girl in grey leg­gings,” she said of one of the girls. “She looked nor­mal and ap­pro­pri­ate.”

How­ever, United Air­lines main­tained its sup­port for the gate agent’s de­ci­sion in its own series of tweets.

Later, it clar­i­fied that the girls pre­vented from board­ing were “pass rid­ers” — those who fly free or at heav­ily re­duced rates be­cause they are air­line em­ploy­ees or their rel­a­tives.

“Our reg­u­lar pas­sen­gers are not go­ing to be de­nied board­ing be­cause they are wear­ing leg­gings or yoga pants,” a spokesman told The Wash­ing­ton Post.

“But when fly­ing as a pass trav­eller, we re­quire pass trav­ellers to fol­low rules, and that is one of those rules.”

That didn’t stop a tsunami of ridicule against the air­line on so­cial me­dia for what crit­ics called sex­ist and in­tru­sive ac­tions.

“@united Leg­gings are busi­ness at­tire for 10 year olds. Their busi­ness is be­ing chil­dren,” ac­tress Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette tweeted.

Model Chrissy Teigen weighed in: “I have flown united be­fore with lit­er­ally no pants on. Just a top as a dress. Next time I will wear only jeans and a scarf.”

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