United explains leggings ban on Denver-Minneapolis flight

United Airlines has issued a statement of clarification on its dress code after a gate agent stopped two teenage girls wearing leggings from boarding a Denver to Minneapolis flight.

United said the girls were "pass riders” who were traveling Sunday under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code. But the airline confirmed regular-paying passengers are welcome to wear leggings on United flights.

United Airlines: Your leggings are welcome

Let us take a moment to explain today's news:

We care about the way we present ourselves to you, our customers, as we believe that is part of the experience on board our flights. One of the benefits of working for an airline is that our employees are able to travel the world. Even better, they can extend this privilege to a select number of what we call "pass riders."

These are relatives or friends who also receive the benefit of free or heavily discounted air travel – on our airline as well as on airlines around the world where we have mutual agreements in place for employees and pass riders. When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow.

The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel. We regularly remind our employees that when they place a family member or friend on a flight for free as a standby passenger, they need to follow our dress code.

To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.

Comments on the controversy

Comedian Sarah Silverman previously engaged with united on Twitter, suggesting they update their policy for friends and family, as they "seem to apply mostly to females and are outdated." She also responded to the United statement above, adding, "It's just that saying a dad in cargo shorts is more appropriate than a 10 y/o girl in leggings is weird maybe rethink."

Delta commentary

Delta Air Lines responded to the kerfuffle Monday with this Twitter post: "Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings.)"

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