I do so enjoy a news storyâ€””news,” of course, being a relative termâ€”that both evokes my outrage and gives me a chuckle. The following story by Gerry Braun in the San Diego Union-Tribune is a prime example:
As the mercury climbed over 100 on Labor Day, I called Southwest Airlines with a not entirely hypothetical question:
Could a young woman board a flight to Tucson today wearing a bikini top?
Angelique, the agent who took my call, assured me that a young woman could.
â€œWe don’t have a problem with it if she’s covered up in all the right spots,â€? she said. â€œWe don’t have a dress code.â€?
Tell that to Kyla Ebbert, who was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight two months ago for wearing an outfit far less revealing than a bikini top.
Ebbert, a Mesa College student and Hooters waitress, was allowed to stay on the plane, but only after she put up a fight and, she says, was lectured on how to dress properly.
I don’t know about you, but one of my big gripes with the airlines is that they just don’t take the time to dispense fashion advice any more.
Southwest explained its treatment of Ebbert in a letter to her mother, saying it could remove any passenger â€œwhose clothing is lewd, obscene or patently offensiveâ€? to ensure the comfort of children and â€œadults with heightened sensitivities.â€?
Ebbert, 23, says she was judged unfairly by the airline and humiliated by the experience. Who wouldn’t be? [full text]
The full story includes a photo of Ms. Ebbert in the offending outfit. Frankly, I fail to see what is objectionable. Indeed, the airline should have been appreciative of the fact that this lovely young woman was kind enough to dress in a manner that made it abundantly evident she was not smuggling weapons of mass destruction (or even a bottle of water) beneath her clothing.