United Airlines is facing major turbulence after reportedly not allowing little girls onto a flight because they were wearing leggings.
The backlash started after Shannon Watts, a mother of five from Colorado, revealed that young passengers on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis were forced to change their attire before boarding.
“A United gate agent isn’t letting girls in leggings get on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?” Watts tweeted on Sunday. “She’s forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can’t board. Since when does United police women’s clothing?”
According to Watts, some of the girls were permitted to fly after changing their outfits but two girls — one of whom was 10 years old — were not allowed to fly. “They just boarded after being forced to change or put dresses on over the top of their clothing. Is this your policy?” she asked United Airlines official Twitter.
The airline replied, insisting they are within their rights to prevent people “who are not properly clothed” from flying.
“The two girls, who were travelling with a companion, would not have been turned away for wearing leggings had they been paying customers,” United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said. The girls were special pass travellers — usually reserved for employees or friends or family — and as such, were not dressed appropriately. “(The two girls) were instructed that they couldn’t board until they corrected their outfit. They were fine with it and completely understood.”
Watts says one girl was wearing simple grey leggings, “A 10-year-old girl in grey leggings. She looked normal and appropriate.”
Countless people on Twitter were shocked by the agents’ actions and United Airline’s response to the matter.
A handful of Hollywood stars have expressed their concerns over banning young girls for wearing leggings.