Business Transportation
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A United Airlines plane.

March 27, 2017

United Airlines defends banning girls from flight for wearing leggings

Critics call the dress code 'sexist' and 'outdated'

United Airlines is defending its decision to ban two girls from a flight with their father because they were wearing leggings.

The situation, as first described in a tweet thread started by fellow traveler Shannon Watts, started when Watts reportedly witnessed an airline gate agent turn away two girls from a Denver-to-Minneapolis flight over their clothing.

As Watts' following tweet explains, the agent told the girls they would have to change their clothes in order to fly. 

United Airlines soon weighed in on the situation on Twitter, explaining that the customers in question were "United pass riders," which it defines as “United employees or eligible dependents” who fly when possible as a “company benefit." The company went on to say that pass riders represent the company and, because of that, they must follow a dress code.

United also clarified in a tweeted-out statement that "regular customers" can wear leggings while flying with the airline.

But the rule still didn't sit well with Watts and other critics, including some celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Patricia Arquette, who called the dress code "outdated" and "sexist." Some said they will no longer fly with the airline.