Southwest Airlines apologized to a woman who was blocked from boarding a flight because of her black halter top
Mike Stewart / AP
Kayla Eubanks received an apology and a refund from Southwest Airlines after an employee forbade her to board a New York City to Chicago flight for wearing a "naughty, obscene and offensive" shirt.
Eubanks was prevented from boarding a flight at LaGuardia Airport last week by a staff member for wearing a black halter top.
"I was told that passengers could look at me in my clothes and be offended," wrote the 22-year-old Eubanks on a now viral Twitter thread.
After being held at the gate for 30 minutes, Eubanks could only board the flight wearing a t-shirt borrowed from the captain of the flight, she said on Twitter.
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Southwest Airlines apologized to a 22-year-old woman who was banned from boarding a Chicago flight for wearing a "naughty, obscene and offensive" shirt.
On October 6, a worker at LaGuardia Airport in New York blocked Kayla Eubanks from going through the gate to her seat on the plane because she was wearing a black halter top.
"I was told that passengers could look at me in my clothes and be offended," Eubanks wrote on a now viral Twitter thread.
Eubanks posted a video in which a staff member stated that her halter top was the reason she was not allowed on the flight. In the video, Eubanks asks the staff member to produce a copy of the policy stating that she cannot board a flight in this shirt. The agent promised to show the policy but couldn't find it.
A Southwest Airlines dress code posted online recommends that passengers "dress to impress".
"While the Southwest dress code is relaxed and casual, you are expected to appear clean, neat and tasteful," it said.
Reaching out for comment, the airline made the following statement:
"Our employees are responsible for the well-being and comfort of everyone on board the flight. Southwest has a customer policy in our contract of carriage that prohibits clothing from being lewd, obscene or overtly offensive." Our staff discreetly informed the passenger of this clothing policy and tried to resolve the conversation before boarding. She got on her scheduled flight to Chicago. We also contacted them directly to refund their fare as a gesture of goodwill. "
Eubanks wrote on Twitter that it was stopped because the employee and the airline were trying to monitor a woman's body.
"How will my shirt affect my flight, for myself, the other passengers, or even the pilot? You have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on a plane? For me, it's constant monitoring of women's bodies." "said Eubanks.
After being held at the gate for 30 minutes, Eubanks could only board the flight if she was wearing a shirt given to her by the flight captain, she said on Twitter.
Eubanks told BuzzFeed News that Southwest Airlines' apology was inadequate and the airline should recognize "a standard across the board."
"I think they need to update the guidelines," she said. "I think it doesn't have to be discriminatory. I think that my body as a woman, especially a black woman, is constantly being monitored and oversexualized, and that's not fair to me."
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