DENVER (AP) — United Airlines says regular-paying flyers are welcome to wear leggings aboard its flights, even though two teenage girls were barred by a gate agent from boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because of their attire.
An airline spokesman said that the girls were traveling Sunday under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code. The move sparked a wave of online criticism against United. Comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted that she would change her United flight bookings to other airlines for a tour next month because of the leggings issue.
Chicago-based United sought to clarify its stance in a post on its website late Sunday titled, "To our customers ... your leggings are welcome!"
The post says employees are "regularly reminded" about its dress code.
One of United's competitors, Delta, had some fun with the controversy Monday, tweeting : "Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings.)"
This is the latest update. The original story is below.
DENVER (AP) — Two teenage girls were barred by a gate agent from boarding a United Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday because they were wearing leggings, according to a spokesman for the airline.
The girls, whose ages were not specified, were not allowed onto the morning flight because they were traveling under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said.
The dress code bars pass travelers from wearing spandex or Lycra pants such as leggings. The teenagers agreed to change their clothing and take a later flight, Guerin said, but the airline's actions sparked a quick backlash on Twitter.
Activist Shannon Watts of Denver tweeted that she witnessed Sunday's events and questioned United's decision to police women's clothing.
Watts said the girl's father was allowed to board while wearing shorts and called the airline's policy sexist.
Regularly ticketed passengers are not subject to the same dress code and can wear leggings, Guerin said. But the airline was standing by its policy for pass travelers because they are essentially representing the company, he said.
"We would ask the same of pass riders who were wearing flip-flops or who were wearing clothing that revealed their undergarments or torn, tattered jeans," Guerin said.
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