united

MIAMI – United Airlines seemingly broke the internet yesterday when it denied boarding two female teenagers who were flying on a United employee travel pass from Denver to Minneapolis. Jon Ostrower and Jill Disis with CNN Money succinctly summarize the details:

Two groups were traveling separately on the Minneapolis to Denver flight on Sunday morning. The first group of three traveling on a travel pass through United’s company travel perk program included two teenage girls wearing leggings who attempted to board the flight, according to Jonathan Guerin, a spokesman for United.

The two teenagers, whose ages were not identified by the airline, were notified by a female gate agent that their leggings violated the travel pass dress code. There was “no uproar, no tears” and the teenagers left the gate area without incident, according to Guerin.

A second group in line behind the teenagers, including a younger girl also wearing leggings, is believed by United to have seen the exchange between the gate agent and the teenagers who were denied boarding, according to Guerin. A woman in the party took a dress out of the party’s carry-on luggage to cover the younger girl.

Guerin said there was no exchange between the family with the younger girl and the gate attendant nor was there any mention of the dress code to the family, which was believed to be flying on a regular ticket. They departed on the flight to Denver.

The issue sparked massive debates and haranguing on Twitter, under the #leggingsgate moniker, with celebrities such as Patricia Arquette and Seth Rogen getting into the act.

Given the massive social media blowback on the issue, I decided to sit down (virtually) with Heather Poole, a flight attendant with a major US airline and bestselling author, to get her unique perspective on the issue.

As with some of my live blogs in the past, we’re going to be using the ReplyAll tool to hold the conversation. Follow along below.

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