Get ready to feel your blood boil, friends. Early Sunday morning, an anti-gun violence advocate named Shannon Watts began tweeting about a United Airlines gate agent who refused to allow at least one teen girl onto a flight because she was wearing leggings. Watts was waiting to board a flight in Denver and witnessed the whole thing, sharing her outrage with her more than 33,000 followers.
According to United, which responded in a series of curt, truly ill-advised tweets, the passengers were traveling with United Pass, a program for the company’s employees and approved travel companions, that requires travelers to follow an apparently strict dress code. The dress code the company referenced, however, says only that United reserves the right to refuse service to passengers who are “not properly clothed,” and that judgment is left up to the United agent.
Here’s Watts’ original series of tweets:
And here’s how United responded:
Watts pointed out that one of the young passengers appeared to be traveling with her father, who was dressed in shorts. She noted that policies like this one — and so very many other sexist dress codes — unfairly target women and girls, whose bodies and attire are inappropriately sexualized.
Twitter immediately exploded over the controversy.
One passenger tweeted that she was flying comfortably in leggings — on a Delta flight.
And Delta responded expertly.
Feel the burn, United!
Even Chrissy Teigen got in on the Twitter action, sharing this wonderfully snarky message.
United continues to stand by its claim that United Pass travelers must abide by a certain dress code, but we’re really having a hard time believing a teen girl’s comfortable travel attire was somehow ~way out of line.~
As one Twitter user pointed out, “Hey, @united, you know how this ends, right? Images of women in leggings tagging you on social as they fly your competition.”
Lesson learned, hopefully?