DENVER, CO — Two teenage girls were not allowed to board a United flight at Denver Airport on Sunday for wearing leggings, however the airline has defended its decision saying the travelers in question were “pass travelers,” who are subject to a certain dress code requirement.
The incident was noticed by Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun safety advocate group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Watts’ string of tweets about the incident has received thousands of retweets.
A pass traveler is someone who is affiliated with the airline either as an employee or an eligible dependent of an employee. These passengers are standing by to board flights on a space-available basis. It is unclear how many people were denied boarding. In some tweets to angry passengers, United said the “passengers” were pass travelers, however in other tweets United said the “passenger” was denied boarding because her attire didn’t meet the pass travel code requirements.
Jonathan Guerin, a spokesman for the airline, told Patch that there was a party of three, all of whom were pass travelers, who were getting on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis. Guerin said of the three passengers, two teenage girls were not allowed to board because they were not in compliance with United’s dress code policy for company benefit travel.
While the third traveler was eligible to board, all three decided to wait for the next flight. Guerin could not provide a description of the traveler who was in compliance with the dress code policy.
Watts however did not care for the explanation and neither did a number of people who expressed their outrage on social media. Watts claimed that three girls were inspected and a man who she says was the father was allowed to board, however Guerin said it was a party of three, with at least two of those passengers being teenage girls.
“When we travel on those privileges, there are rules internally that we have to follow,” Guerin said referring to pass travel.
He said the airline reminds employees that when they are using pass travel privileges, they review the attire requirements. Guerin said the attire requirement was causal, not formal. However, he said leggings were specifically not allowed. Another clothing item specifically not allowed in flip flops.
Guerin said the rules don’t apply to regular passengers and the airline would never deny a regular passenger boarding for their attire.
Several customers have already said they would not be flying with the airline.
This story has been updated to include comments from United.
Patch File Photo
2 Girls Denied Boarding By United For Wearing Leggings – Patch.com