WASHINGTON, 27 March 2017: United Airlines found itself at the centre of a social media storm after it barred two girls from boarding a flight in Denver on Sunday because they were wearing leggings.
Another girl who was also wearing leggings was allowed to board the flight from Denver International Airport to Minneapolis after she changed, a witness said.
The incident was reported on Twitter by Shannon Watts — founder of gun reform group Moms Demand Action — who was a passenger at the airport waiting to board another flight to Mexico.
“A 10-year-old girl in gray leggings,” she added of one of the girls. “She looked normal and appropriate.”
However, United Airlines maintained its support for the gate agent’s decision in its own series of tweets.
Later, it clarified that the girls prevented from boarding were “pass riders” — those who fly free or at heavily reduced rates because they are airline employees or their relatives.
“Our regular passengers are not going to be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga pants,” a spokesman told The Washington Post.
“But when flying as a pass traveller, we require pass travellers to follow rules, and that is one of those rules.”
That didn’t stop a tsunami of ridicule against the airline on social media for what critics called sexist and intrusive actions.
© Agence France-Presse