United Airlines Dress Code: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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It’s been a rough day for United Airlines. The country’s fourth most popular airline is taking a hammering on Twitter following reports that two 10-year-old girls were refused seats on board a flight for a bizarre reason. Moms Demand Action founder, Shannon Watts, tweeted a play-by-play of the incident, which occurred at Denver airport on the morning of March 22. Watts says that the airline wouldn’t let the girls on board until they covered up the leggings they were wearing. The plane was destined for Minneapolis.

The airline has responded to the controversy by saying that the girls were United pass travelers. That indicates that they are related to a United Airlines employee. UA said this morning, “There is a dress code for pass travelers as they are representing UA when they fly.” A later statement said, “The passengers this morning were United pass riders who were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Pass Traveler Dress Code Bans ‘Form-Fitting Lycra/Spandex Tops, Pants & Dresses’

The pass traveler dress code does indeed ban “form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dress.” The policy concludes, “Customer service’s judgment will prevail in all matters pertaining to the dress code.”

In response to United’s “dress code” statements, Watts countered, “The father had shorts on. Two young women in leggings booted from a flight and a girl had to put a dress on over leggings in order to board.” The dress code says that shorts are allowed as long as they “do not meet 3 inches above the knee when in a standing position.”

2. United Has Encouraged the Wearing of Spandex Pants in an Ad Campaign

United Airlines Yoga Tweet


Watts tweeted that the reason the girls were given was that “spandex is not allowed.” CNN contributor Jeff Yang pointed out the irony of such a policy by highlighting this United Airlines tweet:

A company spokesman, Jonathan Guerin, told NBC Denver, that spandex pants are fine for regular paying customers. Guerin told the station that he wouldn’t be disclosing the dress code publicly.

3. Watts Has Accused the United Officials of Causing ‘Panic’ During the Incident

While speaking to the New York Daily News, Watts said that passengers were sent into a “panic” over the incident. Watts added, “These were not private conversations, they were happening in front of everyone. (Passengers) looked frantic as the flight was boarding… I’d like (United) to understand that leggings are part of a woman’s attire in modern day America. It is not inappropriate or sexual.”

4. Christy Teigen Said She Once Boarded a United Flight Without Wearing Pants

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As United Airlines continues to take a pounding on Twitter from celebrities, model Christy Teigen shared the news with the world that she once boarded a United flight without wearing pants. Here’s that and some of the best zingers sent United’s way:

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5. Earlier This Year, Spirit Airlines Dress Code So a Woman Kicked Off a Flight for Showing Too Much Cleavage

In January 2017, a Florida woman was kicked off of a Spirit Airlines flight because of her attire. The woman, Brenda, 21, told ABC Miami, “It’s not even about money. I was really embarrassed.” The station says that a passenger on the flight, from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale, told them Brenda was removed because “her bosom was too exposed.”

While a Spirit Airlines spokesman says that Brenda was removed from the plane because she was drunk.