A woman was stopped from boarding a plane after the staff said her top was offensive.
The incident happened at LaGuardia Airport in New York where Kayla Eubanks attempted to board a flight to Chicago she had booked.
According to the 22-year-old, the Southwest Airlines employees told her that her outfit, which included a halter top, was “lewd, obscene and offensive.”
As the traveler explained, she typically wears casual clothes when traveling by plane. Knowing that it was going to be hot in Chicago when she landed, however, she decided to don her halter top.
“Generally, I wear, like, T-shirts, sweats, or whatever to the airport, but it was supposed to be like 77 degrees in Chicago when I landed. It’s only an hour-and-a-half, two-hour flight,” Eubanks explained in an interview with Buzzfeed News.
After getting stopped by a staff member of the airline, the 22-year-old was told she couldn’t board the plane looking like that.
As she defended her choice of wear, Eubanks asked the staff to show her the policy that states halter tops are prohibited on their flights.
“I was initially shocked, then I was very annoyed because this is discriminatory.
I literally cannot remove these from me, I’m a woman, and they’re mine, I can’t leave them at home, I can’t detach them so for you to tell me that my body part is offensive, I don’t know what you want,” she added.
“I’ve seen men on planes shirtless. I’ve seen them with tank tops where I can see their nipples on the side – not to make it about other people, but I’ve seen a lot of other things on planes.”
After arguing with the staff for some time, Eubanks accepted a spare T-shirt offered by the captain so that she could board the plane.
Following the flight to Chicago, the 22-year-old complained about her experience on social media where she was backed up by other people.
As Eubanks’ story went viral, Southwest Airlines issued an apology and claimed that the passenger in question was offered a refund for the trouble caused.
“It seemed like everything that was going on was based on personal biases, and I just don’t feel like that’s appropriate,” Eubanks expressed.
“If there is a policy, then let that be the policy for everyone, every day. Don’t let it be, ‘Oh, this person is working, so you can wear this on this day, but the next day you can’t wear it because somebody else is working.’ The employees were on completely different pages.
“I think they need to update the policy. I think it needs to be non-discriminatory. I think that as a woman, specifically a Black woman, my body is constantly policed and over-sexualized, and that’s not fair to me.”