I will offer pointed commentary later this morning on the events surroundings #leggingsgate, but want to use this post to succinctly lay out a timeline of what REALLY transpired yesterday. Someone needs to.
Here is what we know:
- Incident took place in Denver International Airport Sunday morning
- A group of three United Airlines’ pass riders (family/friends of an employee) were attempting to travel from Denver (DEN) to Minneapolis (MSP) on UA215, leaving at 7:55AM
- Gate agent noted that two of the pass riders (teenage girls) were wearing leggings, in violation of United’s pass rider dress code policy
- United’s dress code for non-rev flyers states “form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dresses” are prohibited
- The women were asked to change clothes in order to board the flight
- Another family, traveling as revenue (paid, not pass riders) customers was in line to speak to the gate agent and witnessed the incident
- Their young daughter was wearing leggings
- They were unaware that the dress code was only for pass riders and assumed the policy applied to them too
- The family had a dress for the young girl in their hand baggage and placed it on her, without consulting with the pass riders or the gate agent
- Another passenger traveling on a different United flight witnessed part of the incident and tweeted about it, accusing United of being sexist against woman
- She quoted the agent as stating, “I don’t make the rules, just follow them”
- United’s Twitter team responded promptly, defending the action of the gate action and referencing the §21 of the company’s Contract of Carriage, stating that passengers can be denied boarding for being “barefoot or not properly clothed”.
- The tweet and United’s response went viral
- United soon realized that the two women denied boarding were pass riders and confirmed that via Twitter
- The family with the little girl traveled to Minneapolis as planned on UA215
- The two pass riders traveled on a later flight to Minneapolis
I have so much to say on this topic, but don’t want my commentary to be confused with the facts of the incident. Shortly I will publish my own thoughts, but this post is meant merely to accurately construct the timeline of events that led to the firestorm.