Monday, March 27, 2017

Girls get kicked off United flight for wearing leggings...

This morning, I saw an article about a couple of girls who were not allowed to fly on a United Airlines flight because they were wearing leggings.  A third girl was allowed to fly because she had a dress to wear over the forbidden garment.  I posted the article on Facebook because I know leggings are somewhat controversial among my friends.  I have a friend who always chants "Leggings are not pants." whenever this topic comes up.

It turns out the reason the girls were kicked off the flight was because they were flying on "buddy passes", which means they weren't paying customers.  United has a policy about how people who fly on buddy passes are to be dressed.  Evidently, leggings are not considered appropriate attire for people flying for free.

Personally, I don't think it's necessarily wrong for an airline to request buddy pass passengers to dress appropriately.  They aren't paying customers, so dressing nicely is a small price to pay.  On the other hand, bystanders who saw the girls being refused boarding might construe what was happening as harassment.  They wouldn't have known the girls weren't regular customers and might have felt the policy was too strict.  They might have even wondered if they were going to be treated the same way.

Another friend had an interesting conversation with me about this story.  He wishes people would dress up for travel.  I agree, it's nice when people dress well, but if airlines want people to dress nicely, they should make the experience of flying less like taking a bus.  Having flown coach a number of times, I know how dirty it can get back there.  I'm not sure I'd want to wear nice clothes if there's a chance I'll mess them up.  Moreover, flying is so uncomfortable that it seems silly to purposely make it less comfortable by wearing spiffy clothes.  Give my my yoga pants and shut up.

I don't mind leggings too much, as long as they aren't obscene looking or too loud.  Lately, I've noticed a trend among leggings fanatics to wear them in the loudest, weirdest patterns.  But I'd rather see someone in leggings than biker shorts.  I remember about 30 years ago, when they were all the rage.  They were hideous.

Fortunately for onlookers, I have no desire to wear leggings.  I gave them up in college... and probably should not have been wearing them then, either.


  1. My mom never let me wear leggings as pants when I was a kid. Now that I control what I wear, I only wear them with tops that cover the entire underwear area. If anyone has an issue with my bony thighs I don't really care.

    With everything that could go wrong on a flight, it would seem that teenagers wearing leggings would be the very least of a flight crew's concerns.

    1. In the grand scheme of things, it's probably not that important. I guess it's just a throwback to a time when companies cared about their image. But, considering no one knows who pays what on a flight, I guess it shouldn't matter.

  2. My mom wears leggings but she only wears them with tops that reach her mid-thighs. some people would love to police the attire of others. I do understand to some degree why an airline might vant passengers to look decent. I also suspect that with better attire you may get slightly more civilized behavior even if it's the same people just wearing nicer clothing.

    i agree that anyone who knocks on your door uninvited isn't entitled to see you in your Sunday best.

    1. I don't think leggings with long tops looks bad on most people... even those of us who are a bit tubby. In this case, United had a dress code for people flying on buddy passes. I don't think their requirements are that unreasonable, especially since they used to not even allow jeans.

      However.... because other people standing by don't know who's paid and who hasn't and most everyone has a smartphone, it does seem like it might be better to rethink the policy. Companies today have to deal with all kinds of PR nightmares they didn't have to before we had smartphones with cameras and video capacity.


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