United In Hot Water For Refusing To Board Two Girls Wearing Leggings

United Airlines prevented two teenage girls and a child boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday for wearing leggings, drawing criticism that it was employing a "sexist" clothing policy.

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

The girls put on dresses and took a later flight.

Twitter users angry about United's policy dug up Delta Airlines' dress code for "Buddy Pass Riders".

Ticketed passengers are not subject to the same dress code and can wear leggings, Guerin told AP.

The airline said the girls would not have been turned away for wearing leggings had they been paying customers.

It insisted the girls were flying on passes that require them to keep to a dress code in return for free or discounted travel.

Hey @united I fly a LOT. "Not to mention that the families were mortified and inconvenienced", said Shannon Watts.

"We always flew on those travel passes as employee benefits", Cathy Moyer said.

"Apparently @united is policing the clothing of women and girls", she added in a later tweet.

United's Twitter account spent much of Sunday defending the gate agent's actions, following backlash over the incident on social media. Instead, it justified the agent's decision by referring people to Rule 21 of its contract of carriage, which says employees can remove passengers "who are barefoot or not properly clothed".

Watts also noted that the girl's father was allowed to board the flight while wearing shorts "that did not hit his knee", but there was no issue with that.

Customers wearing leggings are still welcome, the company said in a Monday statement.

"When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United", the airline statement says. According to the policy, which was provided to CNNMoney by a United employee, "pass riders" aren't allowed to wear clothing that doesn't look "neat and professional". I guess @united not letting women wear athletic wear?

"I was kicked off the plane and told I couldn't board because I had tennis shoes on", she said.

  • Zachary Reyes