September 8th, 2007

Southwest Airlines Overeacts To Scantily-Clad Woman’s Appearance

by Jacqueline Whitmore

It’s Fashion Week in New York City which reminds me that everyone has their own definition of fashion. You may have read about Kyla Ebbert, the 23-year-old, scantily-clad woman who boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from San Diego to Tucson recently. Ebbert was confronted by a flight attendant and asked to leave the flight because the flight crew felt that her attire was too revealing. When she convinced them that she would adjust her outfit to meet their requirements, she was allowed to remain onboard.

The flight attendant told Ms. Ebbert that she was in violation of SWA’s dress code. Ms. Ebbert later found out that no such dress code policy existed. I believe that if SWA did have a dress code policy in place, they would have had the authority do determine whether Ms. Ebbert’s outfit was inappropriate. However, no such policy exists therefore I believe that Ms. Ebbert’s rights were violated.

I have been flying on airplanes for many years. I am even a former flight attendant and have seen my share of poorly dressed and poorly behaved passengers. I’m sure you have too. Sure, I would not have worn what Ms. Ebbert wore, but I’m not a 23-year-old coed either!

Furthermore, she was not traveling for business. She said she was on her way to a doctor’s appointment. If Paris Hilton walked on that airline wearing the same outfit, no one would have said anything except, “May I offer you a beverage, Ms. Hilton?” But of course, Paris most likely has her own private plane and doesn’t need to worry about what others think.

Yes, the days of dressing up while traveling the friendly skies are long gone. I’m personally disappointed about that. Everyone’s definition of style and taste varies tremendously, depending on a person’s age and where they live. In warmer climates, people wear less clothing. Perhaps the outfits at Fashion Week in New York City will give some indication of what’s to come in the near future. When I think about that, I’m not sure that is a good thing!

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