Woman forced to wear pilot’s t-shirt after staff deemed her outfit ‘lewd, obscene and offensive’

Southwest Airlines did not permit Kayla Eubanks to board her flight on account of her outfit.

  • Eubanks documented her experience on Twitter as she wrote that Southwest Airlines deemed her outfit to be ‘lewd, obscene, and offensive’. 
  • She was told that she would not be allowed to board the plane until she put on more clothes. 
  • It was only after she had borrowed the pilot’s t-shirt that she was allowed to get on the plane. 

Kayla Eubanks claims that Southwest Airlines was trying to ‘police’ her body.

The female passenger was outraged when she was not permitted to board the plane because of her outfit. Eubanks was wearing a long skirt and a low-cut black halter top which the airline deemed to be ‘lewd, obscene, and offensive’. In addition to this, she was told that her attire allegedly contravened the airline’s dress code. Eubanks documented her experience in a thread on Twitter as she posted the following:

Eubanks questioned how her attire would impact her flight, the pilot, or the passengers. 

The passenger was outraged at the way she was being treated as she was held at the gate for half-an-hour while staff attempted to find the policy she had allegedly violated. Although Eubanks demanded to see the carrier’s dress code policy, the airline staff was unable to produce it. In a video which she uploaded on Twitter, the woman can be heard claiming that the reason they cannot produce it is because it does not exist.

The passenger was allowed to board the flight only after she had covered up her halter top. 

While Eubanks initially refused to cover up, she was forced to agree in order to be let on her flight. After the gate agent from the above video failed to find the policy, she found the pilot and asked him to speak to Eubanks. In another video, he is heard asking, ‘They’re hating on you because you’re looking good, is that it?’ It is important to note that his question suggests that even he does not seem to think that there is a policy that is being violated. Ultimately, Eubanks had to resort to agreeing to borrow the captain’s t-shirt.

Eubanks’ struggle was not over as after the flight, she was forced to speak to a supervisor. 

Upon landing, supervisors told the passenger that she does not have ‘very many clothes on up at the top’. In addition to this, they seemed to threaten her as they told her that she would not be permitted to board another Southwest flight if she wore the same – or a similar outfit – again. In yet another video, the men can be heard telling her to ‘Try it, try it’.

Speaking to the Independent, a spokesperson for the airline explained:

Our employees are responsible for the safety and comfort of everyone onboard the flight. We do our best to promote a family-centric environment, and we count on our customers to use good judgment and exercise discretion while travelling. Regarding our policies, each situation is very different, and our employees are responsible for following our Contract of Carriage, available on our website. The customer travelled on her scheduled itinerary, and we also reached out to her directly to apologize for her experience and provided a refund of her fare as a gesture of goodwill.

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