United Airlines is under public scrutiny after it refused to let two girls board a plane Sunday because they were wearing leggings.
The Washington Post reported that people took to Twitter to express their outrage towards the airline company, including one patron Shannon Watts, who was at a gate at Denver International Airport during the incident. Watts, a mom of five from Colorado, slammed their airline for their policies.
“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?”
1) A @united gate agent isn't letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017
United Airlines responded to the tweets by issuing a statement that their agents are under their own discretion when it comes to refusing service to passengers.
“United shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage. This is left to the discretion of the agents.”
@baddestmamajama United shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage. ^FS
— United (@united) March 26, 2017
Public onslaught continued when people found and began to scrutinize the passenger contract. The guidelines in the contract that say passengers may not be allowed on board if they are “barefoot or not properly clothed,” but do not specify what constitutes as being properly clothed.
The report read that another girl, wearing gray leggings, was also told that if she didn’t change she would not be allowed on the plane. Luckily, the girl had a dress in her carry-on and was able to board the plane. The other two girls didn’t have any clothes to change into and weren’t allowed on the flight.
Watts said that she heard commotion from a family sitting close to her before she heard the United Airlines agent tell the girls, “I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.” In an email to The Washingont Post, Watts said that the rule is sexist, and points out that many women wear active wear for comfort at airports.
“I have five kids: four of them are women. They wear yoga pants all of the time when flying. I think this policy is arbitrary and sexist. It singles out women for their clothing and sexualizes little girls.”