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Chicago woman wasn’t allowed to board Southwest plane until she covered up ‘lewd’ top

Kayla Eubanks said Southwest Airlines employees told her “that passengers may look at me in my attire and be offended.”

By Madeline Kenney  Oct 10, 2020, 5:33pm CDT #chicago-il (CNT) City News And Talk

A Chicago woman accused Southwest Airlines of “policing” her sartorial choices this week after an airline employee temporarily barred her from boarding a plane for wearing a “lewd” top.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Kayla Eubanks said she was trying to board her flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Midway Airport when she was stopped at the gate for wearing an outfit that an employee decided was “lewd, obscene and offensive.” 

The airline’s employees then told Eubanks she needed to cover up if she wanted to board the flight, according to a video Eubanks posted to Twitter.

“I really wanna know why @SouthwestAir is policing my clothes like this,” Eubanks tweeted. “How will my shirt impact my flight, for myself, the other passengers or even the pilot? Y’all have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on the plane? It’s the constant policing of women’s bodies for me.”

Eubanks said airline employees told her “that passengers may look at me in my attire and be offended.” She then shared a photo of her outfit which showed her wearing a black, low-cut halter top, red maxi skirt and black converse.

Moments later, the flight’s captain met with Eubanks at the gate.

“They’re hating on you because you’re looking good, is that right?” the captain can be heard saying in a video Eubanks posted.

In the video shared on Twitter, the captain said he wasn’t aware of the dress code policy for customers. He then offered to loan her one of his T-shirts. 

Eubanks obliged and wore the pilot’s shirt so she could board the plane. While en route to Chicago, however, she took it off.

When the plane landed at Midway, Eubanks was met by two Southwest Airlines supervisors to discuss her outfit, she tweeted. One employee said her top “reveals quite a bit.” Another asked if she was wearing a swimsuit top.

Eubanks was told that if she wore a similar outfit next time she flew, she wouldn’t be allowed on the flight.

Southwest Airlines on Saturday confirmed the incident happened before Eubanks boarded the flight. The company also shared its customer policy in its “Contract of Carriage,” which prohibits clothing attire that’s considered “lewd, obscene or patently offensive.”

“Our Employees discreetly notified the Passenger of this clothing policy and attempted to resolve the conversation before boarding,” the statement said. “She boarded her scheduled flight to Chicago. We also directly reached out to her to refund her fare as a gesture of goodwill.”

Eubanks couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.