Two teenage girls wearing leggings were barred from boarding a United Airlines flight on Sunday because they did not meet a dress code for special pass travellers, a company spokesman said amid a furor on social media.
The girls were flying as guests of employees, and thus were subject to the company’s dress code.
But it is not the first time leggings, also known as yoga pants, have caused controversy in the United States.
The tight-fitting trousers, which have become increasingly popular leisure wear, have become the topic of hot debate in recent years.
For many, they are simply a comfy alternative to jeans.For others, their form-hugging material makes them overly revealing or even obscene.
Last October, a man in the US state of Rhode Island sent a letter to his local newspaper, calling for women over 20 to stop wearing them.
“(The two girls) were instructed that they couldn’t board until they corrected their outfit. They were fine with it and completely understood,” Guerin said, adding that all three passengers missed the flight. He did not know if they had boarded later plane or made alternate travel arrangements.
Though the three passengers did not complain about their treatment, another traveller, Shannon Watts, who overheard the discussion touched off a firestorm on social media with a series of tweets describing a policy she suggested was unfairly targeting women and girls.
“This behaviour is sexist and sexualizes young girls,” Watts said on Twitter. “Not to mention that the families were mortified and inconvenienced.”