United Airlines bars girls in leggings from boarding flight: they're "not properly clothed"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/26/united-airlines-bars-girls-in.html


The issue seems to stem from them flying on employee perk free tickets, which come with a dress code.

Here’s the dress code for non-revs on United:

Pass riders’ overall appearance should be well-groomed, neat, clean and in good taste.
Attire should be respectful of fellow revenue passengers, employees and pass riders.
Pass riders may wear denim attire (such as jeans), shorts that are no more than three inches above the knee and athletic shoes when traveling in Coach or Business cabin.
The following attire is unacceptable in any cabin but is not limited to:

Any attire that reveals a midriff.
Attire that reveals any type of undergarments.
Attire that is designated as sleepwear, underwear, or swim attire.
Mini Skirts
Shorts that do not meet 3 inches above the knee when in a standing position.
Form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dresses.
Attire that has offensive and/or derogatory terminology or graphics.
Attire that is excessively dirty or has holes/tears.
Any attire that is provocative, inappropriately revealing, or see-through clothing.
Bare feet
Beach-type, rubber flip-flops

Still seems daft to me. Not sure what is so bad about people wearing leggings, whether they’re “representing the company” or not (and how would anyone else know, even if they were offended, for some bizarre reason).

Imma guess the employee who provided the tickets and didn’t explain the dress code is in a world of shit now, though.



whispers conspiratorially

that doesn’t make it ok


Strange. I never knew airlines had any standards at all. :thinking:

Furthermore, if you’re flying economy leggings seem to be the most practical clothing to wear.


I didn’t say it did.

I think it’s daft.


"And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
F. Nietzsche


45 thinks that they shouldn’t have been wearing leggings. Neither does his buddy Mike. But each would like a different outcome.


Before we all get caught up in allegations of sexism and discrimination, it has been revealed that the girls/women in question were traveling on Buddy Passes.

For Buddy Pass and Employee NRSA (non-revenue space available) riders, there is a well known and documented dress code. It very expressly calls out what is and isn’t acceptable attire and anybody flying on passes should be aware of it. Similar policies exist for all airlines - not just United.

Right or wrong, this is not a new policy at all - it’s been in place for decades. This is not unlike your employer having dress code standards for office attire. I suspect many people here would agree that yoga pants or leggings are not appropriate for the office.

United has already responded that regular paying customers are free to wear leggigngs



The airline is currently taking on all-comers on Twitter, ensuring everyone knows that its employee-related policies, however comically puritan, do not apply to general boarding.

They’re doing a terrible job of it. I’ve been reading about this all morning and BoingBoing is the first place I realized that “United pass” is related to “United employee.” I, like probably most everyone, thought it stood for passenger.


Sure, just ask Don Draper. Decades-old policies couldn’t possibly be sexist.

I do not understand the logic that holds employees (and their families) to a different dress code than the rest of the passengers​ unless said employees are uniformed and on-duty. If a dead-heading Captain wants to snooze in the seat next to mine wearing sweatpants and fuzzy slippers, how does that affect me? How would I even know who’s traveling on a Buddy Pass? Why would I care?


Leggings and Laptops do both begin with the letter ‘L’ so, I can see where the Airlines might get confused.


First time I flew Southwest was because United cancelled my flight due to “air traffic control issues”. United treats this particular route as optional – if they don’t cancel it, great. If they do, who cares. I had to get home that night so that I could be somewhere that next morning. They couldn’t get me there – only option with them was going home the next day. I remembered there was a Southwest flight around the same time – also direct – and they had not yet finished boarding. I paid the $400 they wanted and got home on time. Everything about United sucks balls. They are permanently banned from my travel options. Nothing to do with leggings, just wanted to tell everyone who didn’t know already.


What is their policy on men in leggings?



Rightly or wrongly, every business can set standards of conduct and attire for their employees (or those representing employees). I remember starting out my office career where suit jackets and ties were the norm. And you still see these same standards in place for certain industries like banking or finance.

Why do we still see airline pilots in pseudo-military attire with uniforms and captain bars? Shouldn’t airlines just allow their pilots and flight attendants to wear jeans like everybody else? Why have any standards at all if what they wear doesn’t affect job performance?

I agree that these things are archaic and silly in the grand scheme but there are countless examples of policies that exist for no real good reason. Some things are just tradition.


Oh, believe me I know, the airline industry has no monopoly on mindless tradition and irrelevant pomposity.


Nomatter how many times people bring up this pointless non-argument, that doesn’t make it a valid argument. “This sexist policy applies in this instance” is not actually a rejoinder to the assertion of “This policy is sexist.”

So the daughters of normal passengers are not subjected to a sexist dress code that perversely eroticizes the bodies of children. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for the daughters of employees flying on free passes to be subjected to sexist, hebephilic, puritanical rules.

And your assertion that leggings are not office appropriate attire is similarly irrelevant. Their dad was let on the plane in shorts. The dress code obviously does not stipulate office attire.



To be fair, it’s not like this sort of thing is alien to structures in the west prior to this. It’s just more often than not deployed through private (or locally, though churches or the police) means rather than through the state. It’s part and parcel of people with theocratic mindsets, regardless of one’s religious background.