Know how you can avoid situations you have to apologize for later, Southwest? Stop giving ridiculous reasons to passengers why they can’t fly. In this case, a woman claims an airline worker told her she’d have to cover up her cleavage before boarding the flight. Her response? Too bad. Not gonna do it.
The woman tells CBS New York she was chatting with the Southwest employee before a 6 a.m. flight from Las Vegas to New York on June 5, while wearing a cotton black dress, flannel shirt and a scarf. Suddenly, the worker told her the cleavage she was showing was inappropriate and she’d have to button her shirt if she wanted to board the flight.
“I was stunned more than anything,” she told the station. “We had been chatting about the experience of being up and awake at 4:30 a.m., and then her tone changed quite suddenly. It wasn’t until I walked away from the check-in counter that her words made an impact. Then I got indignant and self-conscious.”
She says it had been hot in Las Vegas, and most people were dressed accordingly. She went ahead and kept her outfit as it was, and boarded the plane without incident.
A Southwest spokesman told Jezebel that the airline offered the woman an apology and a refund as a “gesture of goodwill,” but that their Contract of Carriage allows them to refuse to transport a customer whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.
The passenger says she likely will not fly Southwest again, if the hidden cost is that she or other passengers will be shamed or judged.
“If Southwest wants to impose a dress code, they are entirely within their rights as a private company. If they would like to ask all of their customers to wear big blue sunhats, that’s their business. What bothered me was not knowing what might set off an individual employee, who could prevent me from boarding based on their personal opinions,” she added.