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United Stands By Employee Pass Dress Code In Wake Of Leggings Controversy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's the story that's surrounding water coolers all over the country. Two teens were told they couldn't board their flight to Minneapolis Sunday because they were wearing leggings.

It all started with a tweet from Shannon Watts, who happens to have a lot of followers. Her tweet said she noticed United Airlines wasn't letting girls board because spandex wasn't allowed and they were wearing leggings.

In a matter of seconds, you'll spot a number of leggings at MSP. We found Amanda Leininger was proudly wearing hers.

"You can move, you have leg room, you can cross your legs, it's the most comfortable way to travel so why not, no shame," she said.

The fact two teens wearing leggings weren't allowed to board their United flight is confusing some passengers.

They were flying United on a "pass," meaning a family or friend who's an employee gave them a pass for a free or reduced flight.

We found Notre Dame student James Onwualu at MSP using a Delta non-revenue pass.

"On my way here my mom was telling me I better put on pants so I can get on my flight, a little too casual maybe," he said.

Pass rider Dr. Dow Pursley was a little worried, too.

"I think Levi's are OK, I hope," Pursley said.

Turns out United has a policy and so does Delta that when family or friends are flying on a pass, there's a dress code.

United's code says no spandex or lycra tops, dresses or pants.

"All employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow," a spokesperson said.

For typical paying customers, United says legging are perfectly acceptable.

Delta doesn't list which clothes are are prohibited specifically for their non-revenue passengers, but say they should be polished and should not be vulgar. They tweeted Monday saying leggings are welcome.


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