Over the weekend, United Airlines refused to let two girls, one as young as 10-years-old, board a flight.
Because they were wearing leggings.
In a strange story that has seriously called into question the common sense of the entire airline, a gate agent refused to allow a couple of kids onto a flight because their attire didn't fit company policy. Meanwhile, their father would have been permitted to board the same flight -- and he was apparently wearing shorts.
Now there is a lot more to this story, and yet it still doesn't make any sense. The two girls were "pass riders," and thus flying the airline free (on standby) as family members of an airline employee. In that case, the airline has a dress code and leggings aren't part of it. But the gate agent has discretion, and these were kids. What could the gate agent have been thinking?
Meanwhile, whoever runs United's Twitter account doubled down and defended the action.
United has finally and fully explained its policy, saying that its customers can wear leggings, but so-called pass riders must abide by the company's dress code. That's all well and good, but I can't get by the fact that the girls were singled out for a dress code violation and their dad (wearing shorts) wasn't. At that point, it seems fair to ask whether or not there is a bit of sexism in the dress code. And if the gate agent might have gone a bit overboard with a couple of kids. United didn't address those two questions, just kept defending a very strange action.