A Rundown of What Went Down With United Airlines' Dress Code Fail
Here's everything you need to know.
Who knew leggings could be this controversial?
On Sunday, an United Airlines gate agent wouldn't allow teen girls in leggings to board a flight unless they changed or covered up what they were wearing. Naturally, the situation sparked major online backlash, with celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Patricia Arquette weighing in on the issue. (If the 2013 Lululemon PR nightmare taught us anything--remember when CEO Chip Wilson fat-shamed his customers?--it's that women will fight to the death to defend their right to wear stretch pants.)
Here, a rundown on everything that has happened so far.
WHAT WE KNOW
The situation garnered attention when Shannon Watts, founder of grassroots movement Moms Demand Action, first tweeted that a gate agent wouldn't allow girls in spandex to board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis.
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
3) Gate agent for flt 215 at 7:55. Said she doesn't make the rules, just follows them. I guess @united not letting women wear athletic wear?— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017
United replied to Watts with a rather poor response, stating that the airline has "the right to refuse transport for passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed."
The airline then followed up by explaining that the teens were "pass riders," otherwise known as family or friends of an airline company employee who travel at a discounted rate, so they're expected to follow the same dress codes as employees.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
Why are leggings so objectionable? According to an official statement from United, leggings are unacceptable for employees and pass riders. "When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow," read the statement. "The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel."
Meanwhile, leggings are, uh, welcomed if you're a regular customer. (And they're certainly the de facto weekend uniform for most women in Los Angeles, if not the country.)
THE SOCIAL MEDIA FRENZY
Tweets of frustration and mockery toward United came pouring in from celebrities like Patricia Arquette, Chrissy Teigen and Sarah Silverman.
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
Meanwhile someone at the daily mail had to google stock photos of "10 year old in leggings" that's prob the real crime pic.twitter.com/jkn9zKKzbR— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 26, 2017
@united Why aren't you allowing girls to wear leggings on flights? Who is your gate agent policing girls clothing?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
@united Was there something's strange about all these girls leggings?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
@united Do U understand U have just made at least half UR customers very unhappy?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
Turns out United bans leggings, torn jeans, and shorter shorts for free employee pass tickets. Still @united should update policy.— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
Understandable. It's just that saying a dad in cargo shorts is more appropriate than a 10 y/o girl in leggings is weird maybe rethink https://t.co/U1xzH5P6Ar— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 27, 2017
I applaud @united for making those girls change their leggings. Nothing on a plane offends me more than a comfortable woman.— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) March 27, 2017
What a surprise @united , you don't even have to have people ON your airplanes to fuck their day up— Keegan Allen (@KeeganAllen) March 26, 2017
.@united I have flown numerous times while displaying an egregious mooseknuckle. What's a male over 10 have to do to get noticed?— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) March 26, 2017
Delta also weighed in on the matter with a cheeky response.
Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings. )— Delta (@Delta) March 27, 2017