Apparently, leggings are way too vulgar to wear on airplanes. The Twitterverse went into a frenzy after United Airlines barred two teenage girls wearing leggings from boarding a flight and demanded them to change into a dress.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 27, 2017
As Twitter users are now wondering “are leggings pants?” after the incident, here’s a breakdown of how it happened.
Sunday morning. A United Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis. Two teenage girls – wearing leggings – with their mom and dad attempted to board the flight, but a gate agent denied them boarding as he thought the girls’ attire wasn’t appropriate. In particular, he had a problem with leggings.
The question “are leggings pants?” has been around for years now – with many men and women wearing the skin-tight garment thanks to its comfort and versatility.
But nonetheless, the United Airlines gate agent’s decision ruling that leggings weren’t appropriate set off waves of criticism and sexism accusations on social media. The company engaged in a fierce Twitter leggings battle with its critics, but most importantly with Shannon Watts.
Watts, the Founder of Moms Demand Action, happened to have witnessed the whole leggings ban incident while boarding her own flight that morning. And naturally, she decided to go public with the story and accuse United Airlines of having an intrusive, sexist policy.
However, United Airlines has defended its gate agent’s decision on social media and explained that leggings are not appropriate travel attire for boarding an airplane.
— United (@united) March 26, 2017
With many fans of leggings now wondering “are leggings pants?” and “is it safe to wear leggings on airplanes?,” Watts criticized United Airlines for having misogynistic rules and argued that the teens’ dad wore shorts that “stopped maybe two or three inches above his knee,” and yet the gate agent didn’t have any issues with his attire.
In fact, Watts argues that if banning leggings on women and girls is part of United Airlines’ policy, as the company’s rep said on Twitter, it means that United may be sexualizing young girls. The girl who had to change into a dress was only 10- or 11-years-old.
While many are accusing United Airlines of having sexist and misogynistic rules, one can argue that at a time when everyone seems concerned about terrorist attacks on airplanes, nobody wants nonsense policies from gate attendants to create additional tensions while boarding planes.
The family and teens managed to board the next flight to Minneapolis after the girls pulled a dress on over their leggings.
— CitizenSlant (@CitizenSlant) March 27, 2017
But apparently not all leggings fans who are now wondering “are leggings pants?” have to worry about United Airlines or other airlines denying them boarding only because of their “inappropriate” attire. One thing that many critics seem to overlook is that the family with leggings-wearing teenagers were “pass travelers.” Meaning: they were either United Airlines employees or their dependents, who are allowed to travel for free on a standby basis.
The passengers this morning were United pass riders who were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel.
— United (@united) March 26, 2017
Jonathan Guerin, a spokesperson for United Airlines, confirmed that the family violated the company’s dress code policy for “pass travelers,” and explained that since “pass travelers” are “representing” the company, they have to comply with certain rules.
Apart from not being allowed to wear leggings, United Airlines also bans its “pass travelers” from wearing tattered or ripped jeans, flip-flops, midriff shirts, and any pieces of clothing that show their undergarments.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 27, 2017
Several celebrities have reacted to the leggings incident, with model Chrissy Teigen joking she would next time wear “only jeans and a scarf.”
I have flown united before with literally no pants on. Just a top as a dress. Next time I will wear only jeans and a scarf.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 26, 2017
[Featured Image by urbazon/Shutterstock]