Sarah Silverman/Wikimedia commons
Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen give United Airlines a piece of their minds for enforcing dress codes on passengers
In the Jewish Orthodox community, tales of religious men refusing to sit next to women on an airplane are not unusual. But in a first, a gate agent prohibited two girls from boarding a flight because of their attire.
On Sunday morning, according to published reports, two young women were barred from boarding United Airlines flight for wearing stretch pants: they didn’t have a legging to stand on.
Originally, three of the passengers in leggings were stopped at the gate, but one of them took a dress from her bag and tossed it on over her outfit, gaining approval for boarding. The other teenage women did not fare as well, and were refused entry onto the aircraft.
Many who either witnessed or heard of the scuffle responded with anger on Twitter. Shannon Watts, who was at a gate at Denver International Airport tweeted, “She’s forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can’t board. Since when does @united police women’s clothing?”
Watts was joined by celebrities like Sarah Silverman who were outraged by the seemingly arbitrary policy.
The outspoken Jewish comedian let the airline know she would be taking her business elsewhere come her April tour.
Seth Rogen, also an MOT, threw some sarcasm at United showing his disapproval.
Jonathan Guerin, a United Airlines spokesperson has responded to the controversy by stating that the agents “have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage.”
Apparently, the women were traveling as pass travelers, meaning they were using the airline travel benefit through a United employee pass. An internal policy for employees forbids leggings while traveling as they are not in accordance with the airline's dress policy.
“Our regular passengers are not going to be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga pants,” said Guerin, according to the Washington Post. “But when flying as a pass traveler, we require this pass traveler to follow rules, [and] that is one of those rules.”
Still, it remains unclear why leggings are considered inappropriate dress.
Other Jewish actors who spoke up were William Shatner and Kat Dennings. Shatner took a comical route, announcing he would be switching up his wardrobe, pointing out that it wouldn’t be the first time the “Star Trek” icon would be seen in spandex.
Dennings took a more direct approach.
Any way you slice it, the aggrieved passengers made it clear that in their relationship with the airline, they wear the pants.
United Airlines leggings