Kayla Eubanks took to Twitter to complain about the employee’s behavior and to reveal that the plane’s captain eventually loaned her a t-shirt so she could board the flight to Chicago from there. New York LaGuardia Airport.
Basically, she was wearing a halter top because she expected the weather to be extremely hot when she arrived, but she was told her outfit was – in her words – “obscene, lewd and offensive.”
In a statement, Southwest Airlines has since apologized to Eubanks and said it offered him a refund as a “gesture of goodwill.”
The 22-year-old told Buzzfeed News that she usually dressed differently for the airport, but on the occasion, she decided to dress according to the weather when she arrived rather than wearing something different.
She explained, “I usually wear, like t-shirts, sweatshirts or whatever at the airport, but it was supposed to be like 77 degrees in Chicago when I landed. It’s only an hour and a half, two-hour flight. “
After she dropped off her luggage, she proceeded to the departure gate where a member of Southwest staff refused to let her board the plane.
During the ensuing discussion, Eubanks asked staff to produce evidence of the policy under which they were refusing his entry on the plane.
She continued, “At first I was shocked, then I was very annoyed because it is discriminatory. I literally can’t take them off, I’m female, and they’re mine, I can’t leave them at home, I can’t untie them for you to tell me my body part is offending, I don’t know what you want.
“I saw men in planes shirtless. I’ve seen them in tank tops where I can see their nipples to the side – not to talk about other people, but I’ve seen a lot of other things on airplanes. “
The dress code reads: “Dress to Impress. While the dress code in Southwest is relaxed and casual, you will need to present a clean, well-groomed and tasteful appearance. “
The airline also adds that it tries to “promote a family-oriented environment”.
Eventually, one of the other staff members gave her a t-shirt and she was allowed to board the plane.
Eubanks added, “It seemed like everything that was going on was based on personal biases, and I just don’t think that’s appropriate.
“If there is a policy, let it be the policy for everyone, every day. Don’t let it be, ‘Oh, that person is working, so you can wear it that day, but the next day you can’t wear it because somebody else is working. The employees were on completely different pages.
“I think they need to update the policy. I think it should be non-discriminatory. I think as a woman, especially as a black woman, my body is constantly watched and overexualized, and that is not fair to me.
“I think they have to take the initiative and figure out what they think is acceptable or not and let that be the norm in all areas, period. “