Burlesque dancer told her shorts were too short to fly with Jetblue
If you thought dress codes were reserved for high schools and office buildings, think again. A woman and her friends are outraged after she was allegedly asked to change clothes before boarding a JetBlue flight to Seattle because her shorts were “too short.”
The woman, a Burlesque dancer who goes by the public persona Maggie McMuffin, had already flown from New York to Boston on a JetBlue plane. She was attempting to board her connecting flight home when she says employees told her she was dressed inappropriately and couldn’t fly. Maggie was wearing a sweater with a tiger on it, striped shorts, and matching thigh high socks. Her friend, Molly McIsaac shared a photo of the outfit on Facebook:
In her post, McIsaac wrote, “No explanation was given [for not allowing Maggie to fly] except that the pilot said her clothes would prevent her boarding the plane. The flight lead asked if she had anything else to wear, and told her if she didn’t they could rebook the flight for her. Maggie ended up having to go to another terminal to buy a pair of women’s sleep shorts in XL for ‘proper coverage’.”
— Maggie McMuffin (@MaggieMcMuff) May 30, 2016
After the incident, Maggie tells the Daily Mail she contacted the airline and was given an apology and a $162 credit. “I asked for a monetary refund since I don’t want to fly with them again and was told I could let someone else use my credit,” she explained. “There was no explanation for their behavior.”
According to JetBlue’s policies, they do have the right to remove anyone whose clothing is “lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.” What I’d like to know is, who determines that? One person’s “lewd and offensive” is another person’s regular Tuesday morning. Unless there’s some concrete guidelines in place, it’s more than a little ridiculous to leave random employees to interpret those rules for themselves and police what grown adults wear on airplanes.
In this instance, a spokesperson for JetBlue denies Maggie was actually barred from boarding the plane and says the company supports “crew members’ discretion” to make decisions about passenger attire. “The gate and onboard crew discussed the customer’s clothing and determined that the shorts may offend other families on the flight,” they explained to KING5 News. “While the customer was not denied boarding, the crew members politely asked if she could change.”
Given that Maggie felt she had to either buy new clothes or rebook her flight, it doesn’t like seem the employees presented their concerns in a very polite or diplomatic way. It’s also kind of ridiculous that they’re allowed to present these concerns at all. Appropriate short length is highly subjective, and as long as someone isn’t breaking the law, who are we to go around telling grown adults what clothes they can or can’t wear?
The fact that JetBlue has such an arbitrary dress code in the first place is kind of unsettling, and regardless of which side of the story is more accurate, it’s worth it for the company to reexamine the rules they’ve got in place. Grown women shouldn’t have to worry about the length of their clothes determining whether or not they can get from point A to point B, and if JetBlue really has an issue with short shorts, that’s something many passengers would probably like to know beforehand.