Airports might not have dress codes, but apparently airplanes do. A woman claims she was barred from boarding a flight because her shorts were too short.
Maggie McMuffin, a burlesque dancer, was flying from Boston’s Logan International Airport back home to Seattle. She wore a mint green sweater, embroidered with a tiger, and knit black and white chevron shorts with matching knee-high socks. But a few minutes before taking her seat, a member of the flight crew approached her at the terminal to tell her that what she was wearing was not appropriate and that the pilot had decided that she needed to change to something else or she wouldn’t be allowed to fly. “I was told it was the pilot’s final say, so these are official rules that can be broken,” McMuffin told KIRO7.
Interestingly, McMuffin had flown from New York to Boston (she was connecting to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) without any problems in the same outfit. Asked to wear something more suitable, McMuffin suggested wrapping her sweater around her waist or using a blanket to cover her legs, but was denied this request. With nothing in her carry-on, it was suggested that she buy something. McMuffin found a pair of women’s pajama bottoms for $22 that offered enough coverage so that she could take the flight.
Hey @JetBlue I was catching a connecting flight in Boston after a lovely flight from New York. Five minutes before boarding I was stopped.
— Maggie McMuffin (@MaggieMcMuff) May 18, 2016
JetBlue defended its employees’ action: “The gate and onboard crew discussed the customer’s clothing and determined that the burlesque shorts may offend other families on the flight. While the customer was not denied boarding, the crew members politely asked if she could change. The customer agreed and continued on the flight without interruption.” The statement continued, “We support our crew members’ discretion to make these difficult decisions, and we decided to reimburse the customer for the cost of the new shorts and offered a credit for future flight as a good will gesture.”
In total, McMuffin received a refund for the cost of the pants she purchased as well as a $162 credit for a future JetBlue flight. But what she’d really like is an apology. “If companies are going to seek action against people like me, they should clearly list their boundaries and their dress code,” she told KHOU. “I think this seems like a small thing, but it’s connected to a lot of larger things in our society, and it’s something JetBlue really needs to analyze.”