5 months ago
United Airlines could use a better flight-plan to navigate the latest social media storm—all over leggings.
According to The New York Times, on Sunday, United Airlines barred a pair of teenage girls wearing leggings from boarding a flight at Denver International Airport en route to Minneapolis. A third girl had to pull on a dress over her gray leggings to stay onboard the flight.
United subsequently defended its actions on Twitter.
The passengers this morning were United pass riders who were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel.
— United (@united) March 26, 2017
The story was reported in real time by a concerned passenger, who also happened to be a local activist… and a mother of five.
1) A @united gate agent isn’t letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017
This, of course, led to a volcanic eruption of tweets—including from several celebrities—defending the girls’s rights to their wardrobe on Twitter. Here are some of the best ones.
@united Leggings are business attire for 10 year olds. Their business is being children.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 26, 2017
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) March 26, 2017
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.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 26, 2017
Gonna wear tight as hell leggings on my next United flight. They’re gonna see it all. The ferret and the yams. Maybe even the sinkhole.
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) March 27, 2017
I applaud @united for making those girls change their leggings. Nothing on a plane offends me more than a comfortable woman.
— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) March 27, 2017
These leggings are a distraction from their jobs! pic.twitter.com/wlgjIikFbs
— Madeline Hill (@mad_hill) March 26, 2017
Lost in the uproar, however, was the fact that the two girls apparently weren’t customers. They were flying on the company’s pass travel program: Free tickets usually reserved for employees and their families. The philosophy, in that case, can be viewed as a rigid standard of a less casual dress code for travelers that represent the company.
United followed up the initial rush of angry tweets by further defending its dress code policy.
To our customers…your leggings are welcome! Learn more about our company’s pass travel privilege: https://t.co/5e3euG1H9G.
— United (@united) March 27, 2017