A female passenger is furious after she claims Southwest Airlines tried to “police” her body, forcing her to cover up with a T-shirt belonging to the pilot before letting her on a recent flight.
Kayla Eubanks from Chicago said staff called her outfit “lewd, obscene and offensive” and refused to let her board the plane as it contravened the airline’s dress code.
“Y’all I was KICKED OFF my @SouthwestAir flight because my boobs are ‘lewd, obscene and offensive’,” she tweeted.
Ms Eubanks shared a picture of her outfit, which consisted of a low-cut black halter top and a long skirt.https://d-3708273292138300315.ampproject.net/2009252320001/frame.html
“I really wanna know why @SouthwestAir is policing my clothes like this,” she added. “How will my shirt impact my flight, for myself, the other passengers or even the pilot?
“Y’all have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on a plane? It’s the constant policing of women is bodies for me.”
She demanded to see the carrier’s policy, which she claims still had not been produced after 20 minutes while she was held at the gate.
The Independent struggled to find any sort of dress code or clothing policy listed on Southwest’s website. The policy that seems to have been invoked is buried in the airline’s Contract of Carriage under section 6b(1)(xiv): that the carrier can refuse to transport passengers for disruptive behaviour, including “Engaging in lewd, obscene or patently offensive behavior, including wearing clothes that are lewd, obscene or patently offensive”.
Ms Eubanks filmed an encounter with a gate agent, who seemed to suggest that she would have to be put on another flight because of her outfit.
“The flight is closing in three minutes, you don’t want to put something on?” the gate agent can be heard asking.
“You’re not letting me on the plane because of a policy you can’t prove exists?” she says.
The captain of the flight was then asked to intervene, eventually loaning Ms Eubanks a T-shirt so that she could board the aircraft.
In a separate video, he’s filmed asking: “They’re hating on you because you’re looking good, is that it?”
According to Ms Eubanks, the flight was delayed but she was allowed to board – only to be told that she would have to speak to a supervisor upon landing.
“You don’t have very many clothes on up at the top,” the supervisor is heard saying on video. “It reveals quite a bit.”
He goes on to say that she won’t be allowed to fly Southwest in future if she wears that particular outfit.
A Southwest Airlines spokesperson told The Independent: that Ms Eubanks has received a refund and an apology from the airline. They said: “Our employees are responsible for the safety and comfort of everyone onboard the flight.
“We do our best to promote a family-centric environment, and we count on our customers to use good judgment and exercise discretion while travelling.
“Regarding our policies, each situation is very different, and our employees are responsible for following our Contract of Carriage, available on our website.
“The customer travelled on her scheduled itinerary, and we also reached out to her directly to apologize for her experience and provided a refund of her fare as a gesture of goodwill.”