Two girls with employee passes were stopped from boarding a flight
The girls were set to board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday morning.
They both had employee travel passes, which are tickets for company employees or eligible dependents.
The incident has sparked a social media storm after another passenger at Denver International Airport, Shannon Watts, tweeted about what happened.
She said the girls' father was wearing shorts at the time and was allowed to board the flight.
1) A @united gate agent isn't letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017
2) She's forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can't board. Since when does @united police women's clothing?— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017
The airline has since defended the action, explaining the girls were travelling under an employee travel pass which includes a strict dress code.
The dress code bars pass travellers from wearing spandex or Lycra pants, including leggings.
The passengers this morning were United pass riders who were not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel.— United (@united) March 26, 2017
United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the company was standing by its decision because the teenagers were essentially representing the company.
"We would ask the same of pass riders who were wearing flip-flops or who were wearing clothing that revealed their undergarments or torn, tattered jeans."
He added they would not have been turned away if they were normal paying customers. They have since clarified this with a tweet.
To our customers…your leggings are welcome! Learn more about our company’s pass travel privilege: https://t.co/5e3euG1H9G.— United (@united) March 27, 2017
Many people have hit back at the airline saying that they're trying to police what some passengers wear.
Comedian Sarah Silverman chimed in on the situation saying "Hey @united I fly a LOT. About to go on tour all April and changing all my @united flights to other airlines."