United Airlines Takes Heat After Refusing to Allow 2 Teens in Leggings to Board Plane
Their dress code reportedly bars travelers from wearing spandex or lycra pants such as leggings.
United Airlines is receiving loads of criticism on social media after two female travelers in Denver were barred from boarding a flight due to their clothing.
Leggings, it seems, aren't the Chicago-based carrier's preferred pants.
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The two teens were stopped Sunday under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code, according to a company spokesperson.
The spokesperson said the dress code bars such travelers from wearing spandex or Lycra pants such as leggings. The teenagers reportedly agreed to change their clothing and take a later flight.
But company code or not, the internet reacted to the news with widespread disdain, with some celebrities leading the charge.
"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," model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen quipped on Twitter.
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.
Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette demanded a response from the company.
"@united Why aren't you allowing girls to wear leggings on flights? Who is your gate agent policing girls clothing?" the actress tweeted.
Comedian Sarah Silverman said she's boycotting the carrier.
"Hey @united I fly a LOT. About to go on tour all April and changing all my @united flights to other airlines," she wrote.
Even a starship captain got into the mix as Star Trek legend William Shatner tweeted "See? I've done it before!" along with a vintage still of him in red leggings aboard the Enterprise.
Despite the kerfuffle, United didn't back down and affirmed the decision by employees in Denver to bar the teens. In response to Arquette, the company's Twitter said only that "The attire of the pass traveler did not meet our rules."
The company also posted an attempt to reassure female flyers worried that they, too, might be barred from flying.
"To our customers…your leggings are welcome! Learn more about our company’s pass travel privilege," the company wrote along with a link to their statement on the incident.
The statement reads:
"Let us take a moment to explain today's news:
We care about the way we present ourselves to you, our customers, as we believe that is part of the experience on board our flights. One of the benefits of working for an airline is that our employees are able to travel the world. Even better, they can extend this privilege to a select number of what we call "pass riders." These are relatives or friends who also receive the benefit of free or heavily discounted air travel – on our airline as well as on airlines around the world where we have mutual agreements in place for employees and pass riders.
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"When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow. The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel. We regularly remind our employees that when they place a family member or friend on a flight for free as a standby passenger, they need to follow our dress code.
"To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome."
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