United Airlines: Customers 'welcome' to wear leggings

Rival airline Delta joined the conversation, tweeting, "Flying Delta means comfort".

On Sunday morning, activist Shannon Watts drew attention to the airline's controversial dress code policy on Twitter, explaining that two girls wearing leggings were told by a United Airlines gate agent that they would not be able to board their flight to Minneapolis unless they changed clothes. Passengers were infuriated to hear the attendant tell the young girls that they were dressed inappropriate due to their leggings.

Psychologists said singling out young women for their clothing choices can have a profound impact down the road. The two girls, who weren't identified, "looked very panicked", according to Watts.

Watts, who is the founder of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, updated her Twitter followers throughout the ordeal with a series of follow-up tweets. And the model and actress Chrissy Teigen tweeted: "I have flown united before with literally no trousers on".

The airline responded to her concerns on Twitter and said that the airline has "a right to refuse transport for passengers who passengers who are not properly clothed" via its Contract of Carriage.

But the airline confirmed regular-paying passengers are welcome to wear leggings on United flights. These are relatives or friends who also receive the benefit of free or heavily discounted air travel - on our airline as well as on airlines around the world where we have mutual agreements in place for employees and pass riders.

Delta says it does not have any "item-specific" clothing policies for employees and others flying on its pass program.

The dress code bars pass travellers from wearing spandex or Lycra trousers such as leggings.

"All employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United".

Airlines know how to throw some social media shade, too.

According to several reports, the girls were at Denver International Airport about to get on a flight to Minneapolis when the gate agent turned them away. Next time I'll put on a pair of jeans and a scarf. "I find it disturbing that they are implying there's something provocative or "sexy" about children", said a user in a tweet reposted by Arquette.

"Our regular passengers are not going to be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga trousers", United spokesperson Jonathan Guerin said to The Washington Post. "(That means you can wear your leggings.)", Delta tweeted on Monday afternoon.

  • Zachary Reyes