Published: Mon, March 27, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Leggings-clad teens couldn't board United Airlines flight

Leggings-clad teens couldn't board United Airlines flight

Two girls were denied entry on a United Airlines flight on Sunday morning because they were wearing leggings.

The gate agent on Flight 215 from Denver to Minneapolis wouldn't let three women in leggings on the plane, so one girl reportedly put a dress on over hers before boarding.

Fueling the controversy were initial United tweets in response to Watts that lacked context in which the airline said it "shall have the right to refuse passengers if they are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage".

Twitter user Shannon Watts, who was on the same flight as the girls, reported that they were asked to change or "put dresses on over" their leggings before boarding the flight from Denver to Minneapolis.

The provision cited by the airline, which is part of the standard airline/passenger contract, does not define "properly clothed". "Who is your gate agent policing girls clothing?".

Watts added that the father of the girl that was able to board, boarded the plane without any issues in his shorts. In a followup tweet, the airline said that this decision is left to the gate agent's discretion.

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It all started when Shannon Watts tweeted about the girls being stopped on Sunday morning due to their leggings.

Watts, who lives in Colorado, said "I don't care what kind of passengers they were ... this behavior is sexist and sexualizes young girls". She looked normal and appropriate.

But United lacks an argument no matter the details of this particular situation, even by enforcing their own rules.

Pass riders are considered representatives of United and that extends to the dress code requirements. I don't care what kind of passengers they were.

We've reached out to United for comment and haven't heard back yet. They later clarified that the girls in question were "pass travelers", or travelers flying on comped or discounted tickets, typically reserved for employees and their family members. I guess @united not letting women wear athletic wear?

United has no rules barring general passengers from wearing leggings on flights.

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