Leggings on Airplanes: Travel Agents Weigh in on “Leggingsgate”

United Airlines Editorial
Photo by United Airlines

Should leggings be allowed on flights? In the wake of “leggingsgate,” in which two young girls were barred from a United Airlines flight for wearing leggings, travel agents on our Facebook page weighed in on dress codes, non-revenue tickets and more.

Many agents in the discussion noted that the girls were flying on non-revenue tickets, in which relatives of airline employees can fly for free or at a heavily discounted rate on standby – with the understanding that, as a representative of the airline, they abide by a dress code.

“Free Pass Tickets were, and are, a privilege to those of us who worked very, very hard to get that Free Pass to help defray our work related expenses,” said Rita J. Mahfet. “I was advised about the ‘Code of Conduct & Proper Attire’ while flying on a free flight pass. If you have a problem, pay for your airline ticket and wear your leggings/Jeggings.”

While United Airlines initially maintained on Twitter that gate agents could bar passengers for wearing leggings, it later reversed course, saying “To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.”

“This is not a real story and the media is sensationalizing it,” said Jaime Lawson Moore. “Anyone that travels on a ‘revenue ticket’ or free ticket KNOWS they need to dress appropriately.”

“This probably happens many times a day around the world for non-rev folks,” said JoDonn Griffith. “If you are in the industry, it has happened to you or you know someone it has happened to.”

One reader, however, questioned whether the policy should apply to young children.

“I really don’t get the leggings thing,” said Elle A. Kaine. “These are little girls, not grown women. There needs to be a stipulation regarding children who fly under the employee benefit. I can understand if it applied to grown women only but not to children.”

Another reader was against leggings entirely – when asked, “Should airlines allow leggings as pants on planes,” they simply answered, “No!!!”

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