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Southwest Airlines Community

A Different Perspective

blusk
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A lot of you are familiar with the Southwest Airlines Customer who was asked to cover up her outfit, and there has been a lot of attention devoted to this subject.  In fact, the Customer was on the Today Show this morning.  You might be interested in the perspective of one of the show's producers, Dan Fleschner.

Thanks for your comments. We are closing the comment section. Please see Colleen's new post: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2007/09/14/wrapping-up-the-skirt-issue/
951 Comments
Meredith_Falkin
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Given I have many choices when it comes to choosing an airline to fly with, after the grossly unfair treatment Kyla Ebbert received from Southwest, your airline will be a last resort for me.
perri_l_giafagl
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I am so delighted that someone had the integrity and fortitude to stand up to the increasing number of people in this country who dress inappropriately to attract attention--but once they get it they are 'appalled'. Good job. I don't want my grandsons being forced to look at half naked people and think that is the standard. You did the right thing and in the age of suing for everything you are to be commended. I am a customer and will continue to be one when you fly to my destination.
Dr_Stuart_Womac
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In response to the Southwest Airlines fashion policing incident. Although I find the young womens skirt borderline inappropriate, I find it much more inappropriate that anything was said to her. For one there is no law in this country regarding "class"; second, if anything WAS to be said to her it certainly should NOT have been done in the manner it was executed. It is obvious that there were underlying motives with the individual who took it upon themselves to be the class police of the world. It is much more likely that this individual allowed their jealously at their own inability to wear revealing clothing to take an opportunity to simply humiliate publicly this young lady. I wonder, did doing this improve this persons self image? I would guess they woke up this morning looking and feeling exactly the same as they did the day before. I feel sorry that this happened to the young girl, however it SHOULD be a lesson to people who regularly dress in this manner. When you seek attention via your dress your also going to receive some attention you may not want. Dressing revealing is NOT a right to that others are obligated to simply accept. You cannot, for example dress in this manner then become annoyed when a male that you do not find attractive looks at you. YOU are seeking the attention, you cannot then demand that you only get attention from the only the sources you want to attract. You must take what you get. I see nothing wrong with dressing as you like but there ARE appropriate times to wear a skirt like this and boarding an airline is not one of them. Just to be clear the skirt is the ONLY thing remotely inappropriate about her clothing choice. But, once again, there are no laws in this country regarding "class". But I certainly feel that Southwest airlines owes this young girl an apology. If your going to be the class police of the world you damn well better have class yourself.
Anthony_Walker
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Thank Goodness you are actually posting the comments of customers who pay your salaries. I think that is great. That will be the next thing to go, however. You have infringed on a young womans right to dress herself as she see's fit. (she was covered up). Next thing to go would be losing our right to speak out against her treatment. Unless this is corrected and a full apology is given, you've lost all of the customers I represent. Who am I, people may wonder? I am important. I am an American Citizen, I am a consumer who will be looking for another airline product.
Lori1
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Southwest, I have read the news articles online, I have seen the unedited airing of the Today show interview, and I have to say that I thank you for the actions taken by your employees, I presume at the request of other paying customers. In the interview on the Today show, Miss EbertÃ
Ann_Burbank
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I think you did the proper thing asking this person to cover up. I also believe that she will try to establish a lawsuit and a career promotion. She and her mother should be ashamed of themselves.
Kelli1
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Thank you Southwest! Many applaud you for taking your customers complaints seriously and asking this woman to cover up. She was dressed inappropriately and from the Today show video obviously was exposing more than just her legs to other passengers. Thank you for upholding a standard of decency.
A_J
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"A different perspective"?? Are you kidding me? Get a dress code if you're such puritans, and print it on every website, every advertisement and every ticket that bares your name so that customers don't get threatened to miss doctor's appointments because you think your passengers are going to be so traumatized by the site of a young girl wearing perfectly acceptable attire. THIS is the real issue: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20641687/page/2/ Flying in this day and age has become an utterly dehumanizing experience. We all realize the airlines are struggling and blah blah blah, but the answer to that is NOT to treat passengers like cattle, and certainly not to imagine that you can dictate to them what is and is not appropriate for your "family" (slash: discount flights to Vegas) airline. You make me sick. BOYCOTT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!!!
Joan9
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Southwest Airlines only has the right to dictate dress code if its passengers are fully informed of said code prior to purchasing a ticket. The treatment of Ms. Ebbert, however "inappropriately" she was dressed, is inexcusable. I hope she sues. Sues big. One more dilapidated airline that has stopped treating passengers like people out of the skies! Until Southwest apologizes, BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT. And P.S., I am: a. A woman b. A conservative dresser c. Exceedingly well-behaved on flights d. Disgusted with SW.
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[...] my usual blog rounds, I stopped by Shannon’s at Rocks In My Dryer. She had shared about the Southwest thing where a young woman was asked to get off a plane because of her clothes. I read much of the [...]
TASHA1
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I find it interesting that all of the people that agreed with the treatment of that young lady are women. I agree with Sarah, that the women who are commending this action are most likely insecure, overweight, and unattractive. I don't understand the comments about seeing her underwear. There is no way to see up her skirt. There is barley enough room to stretch your legs. These women really need to deal with what is bothering them. I believe it's not her outfit, it's the fact that she is beautiful, blond with a nice body and breast! My family and I will never, ever travel with Southwest again! I wouldn't want my daughter to ever be exposed to that type of treatment.
Pattie
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We have used Southwest Airlines in the past and have been excited about the prospects of using it in the future, as we were happy with your airline. My husband is now traveling from Denver to LA quarterly on business, and we are planning some of our short city Ã
P_J_
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I saw the skirt that the passenger wore, and it is too revealing! I was watcing the Morning show when I saw the outfit. For everyone who thinks it is not, obviously did not watch the show. When she was asked to sit down by the talk show host, her midsection was immediately blurred out! As she was sitting there, you can see half her bottom! She should feel and be embarrassed. I think the Southwest Airline employee did NOTHING wrong. Her argument was that she passed several check points without being told nothing. Of course, the skirt is ok when she stands, but if I remember correctly when you fly, you have to sit down, and that is where the skirt is inappropriate.
Mark111
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I THINK THE FEDERAL LAWS REGARDING NO SEXUAL HARASSMENT ARE RELEVANT HERE. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS SO CONTRO- VERSIAL. IT WAS A RIGHTEOUS CALL, AND I WOULD EXPECT IT AGAIN . TO THOSE THAT THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE EXPOSING THEIR PRIVATES IN A PUBLIC PLACE, YOU ARE WRONG, YOU HAVE NO SUCH RIGHT. COMMON SENSE, PLEASE FOLKS.
BS
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Does anyone remember when you used to dress up to fly? I remember as a kid dressing up when we were going to fly somewhere and you felt special that you were getting on a plane. You hardely ever see anyone dressed up anymore, unless it is business men and women. It is a miracle that some people even wear shoes (how many times have you seen people walk barefoot on the plane, yuck!! do they evern realize how gross that carpet is). After watching the interview on the Today Show and watching her flash everyone after she sat down, I think she should be embarassed and she should have thought what to wear before she left her house that morning. I don't think Southwest did anything wrong!!
Mary9
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To all the people who think Kyla Ebbert was wronged. You are so easily manipulated by the media. For those who believe the person who spoke to her had to be ugly or overweight. How ignorant that you think those people are out to attack the beautiful people of the world.
Anne16
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Every time I fly I get more and more depressed when I see how people dress in public...the "fall of Rome'' keeps coming to my mind more and more these days. The woman dressed like trash and NBC had to blur out her crotch when she sat down and then she has the nerve to say there is nothing wrong with her outfit. Her skirt is sitting at her hipline...obviously if she pulled it down for Southwest, it must have been 6 inches higher before..and her top must have been pulled down to her fricking waistline. She wants attention, that is obvious, and then says she's embarrassed by their actions???exsqueeze me? baking powder???? the only embarrassment is caused by her lack of common sense in what she wears. And then her mother actually defended her...and is doing her daughter NO favor. I suppose her mother sees nothing wrong with her daughter dressing like a whore.. Did it ever occur to this idiot that she may be offending other people who don't like having to see her genitals in public?? Not everyone who takes offense is a prude or jealous. Maybe we just take pride in dressing appropriately in public. Let's see what type of job you get in the future dressing like that, other than a job at hooters. Unfortunately, this woman, and i use the term loosely, is one of hundreds who dress like whores in the airports. HOORAY for southwest...and FOR GOD'S SAKE SOUTHWEST, IMPLEMENT A DRESS CODE FOR THE SAKE OF ALL YOUR PASSENGERS!
Sean_G
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Southwest clearly isn't controlled by fundamentalists, ya'll have a gay travel area for pete sake. But clearly this guy was out of line in what he did to Kyla Ebbert. Admittedly I am not a big shareholder of LUV, but I have some, and I am waiting for a public apology and clarification the guy was out of line before deciding to sell or not. I can't find Southwest's comment about this incident (e.g., out of line representative--we don't discriminate) or dress code anywhere on the Website, this is not encouraging. What is the public position of Southwest Airlines please????
Ernest_J_Schwae
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To all you people whose lives are so empty and shallow that you need to try to control those of others in an effort to make them as miserable as you, MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!! And get down to a psychiatrist quickly, because if a small flash of belly skin is putting you over the edge of the PRUDE cliff then you are probably a neurotic or possibly even a psychopath. If you do believe in god (of whatever persuasion) then you should realize that his/her most wonderful creation was the human form UNCOVERED! Those who want to cover it up for "morality's sake" need to look inward at their pathological priggishness. Oh, and for you, Southwest. Post here and publicly in newspapers that you have fired that flight attendant, or you'll never see me flying on your airline again. sign me, a frequent flyer
T_Lince
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Add me to the "boggled" crowd... it boggles my mind that so many people think it's perfectly acceptable to flash your cooter in public. I guess I really AM out of touch -- I will happily go on record saying that I DO NOT THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO FLASH YOUR COOTER IN PUBLIC. There. I said it. I happily accept the "prude" label that will now be slapped on me by every single one of the "I see nothing wrong with her outfit" group. THE THING THAT WAS WRONG WITH HER OUTFIT IS THAT SHE FLASHED HER COOTER. (Which part of that is so hard to understand?). It's not that her tank top was tight; it's not that her sweater was revealing; it's not even that her skirt was short; IT'S THAT SHE FLASHED. A performance she repeated on national television, let's not forget, although she had added panties by that point. Fortunately, though, I think the law is on my side. Turns out, it IS illegal to flash your cooter in public! Who knew! Well, "I" knew... but an astounding number of people posting on this blog did not. News for them, I guess. And to all the people saying "those seats are so close together there's no way anyone could see up her skirt" -- I ask: do you think she was teleported onto the plane? Do you not think she walked down the aisle to get to her seat? Do you not realize her naked crotch and buttocks (let's face it -- if she had been wearing panties on that plane, she would have said so in the interview) was at eye level to every seated passenger? (Again, what part of this is so hard to understand?)
T_Lince
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Quote: "And get down to a psychiatrist quickly, because if a small flash of belly skin is putting you over the edge of the PRUDE cliff then you are probably a neurotic or possibly even a psychopath." Ernest, you honestly think this whole thing is about BELLY SKIN?! Are you kidding? The issue is a little further south than that... think "men would be arrested for doing this at a playground" and maybe the light will start to dawn on you...
Eugene_Bueno
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Inexcusable behavior by Southwest and the flight crew! The woman had a mini skirt and is treated that way? Complaints about her attire by other passengers? Maybe if a passenger is offended by a beautiful woman with an obviously attractive body they should not be staring at her. The problem seems to be with some very unstable/dysfunctional or nut job religious/moral police types on your plane, not a nice girl minding her own business. Did her skirt pose a danger to the flight so that other passengers complaining should be used to decide your crew's actions? Why didn't the attendant tell the people complaining not to look at her? Why didn't the attendant point out that her attire is not deemed obscene by any public laws? Did the young lady do anything lewd toward any of your passengers? Wow! I am shocked that Southwest did this and then refused to apologize. I had no idea Southwest was run by ultra right types who are so zealous that they cannot separate personal taste from running a professional business. So now anybody flying Southwest has to worry that clothing, hairstyle, tattoos, etc as interpreted by the likes of one of your supporters in this blog who applauded your saving the world from immorality, will get them thrown off your plane? If suspicious behavior like the group of Muslims having a strange to our culture group gathering right before a plane takes off occurs, that CAN BE interpreted as a serious concern about safety. If you think a girl's skirt is too short why the hell are you looking down there in the first place! The hypocritical Perverts on your plane were the problem, not the young lady!
Joe26
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I don't know if the majority of the women who express outrage at how the young, attractive Ms. Ebbert dresses are overweight and unattractive. However, the Hooter's connection reminded me of something that happened in San Antonio in July 1994. The national vice-president of NOW (National Organization for Women) chained herself to a railing outside of the Hooter's restaurant on the San Antonio Riverwalk as a protest. The local paper published her photo and she was definitely overweight, and in my opinion most unattractive. But women have a choice to work or not work at Hooter's, knowing what it entails. And we have a choice to fly or not fly on Southwest, knowing that if someone, man or woman, overweight and unattractive or fit and hot, complains about our attire then we are subject to ridicule, lecture and removal from the flight. I'm flying to Albuquerque on Thursday, and will NOT be flying Southwest.
Russ_Fitzgerald
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Whoever made the decision to remove Kyla Ebbert from her flight should be fired immediately. There was nothing out of the ordinary about her dress and it was quite acceptable. This kind of action makes me reconsider flying with you. What's next, my sideburns are too long?
Matt_Pedler
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Whatever happened to the concept of "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" that I grew up with. Southwest has an image to uphold and the young lady(I use that figuratively) did not meet that standard. I am surprised that I see few if any comments defending Southwest.
Russ_Fitzgerald
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Whoever made the decision to remove Kyla Ebbert from her flight should be fired immediately. There was nothing out of the ordinary about her dress and it was quite acceptable. This kind of action makes me reconsider flying with you. WhatÃ
Kimberly5
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I don't have a problem with Southwest asking the girl to cover up. I'm no prude, but that outfit was meant for a night club not an airplane. I'm sure her underwear (if she was even wearing any) was just as skimpy as the skirt. One last thing... If she was embarrassed by the situation, why is she going on TV to tell the whole nation about it? She is just looking for some free money via a lawsuit.
drew
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Russ, Unless your sideburns are somehow attached to your frank and beans, and you are going commando while wearing a kilt or short shorts, you have nothing to worry about. Hope that helps. Have a nice day!
K__Lewis
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Congratulations, Southwest, for reminding everyone of how our society is still blatantly misogynistic. The old days of "refusing service to anyone" and "she made me do it because her skirt was too short" continue to haunt us. It's also nice to know that my comments will be relegated to this black hole blog for discontent customers (or rather EX-customers). It'll be a cold day in hell when I fly this airline again.
drew
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Mr. Bueno, No one need worry about their clothing, hairstyle, tattoos, etc. on a Southwest flight unless there is a lack of clothing covering their naughty bits, their pubic hair style (not a worry when you're appropriately clothed) or tattoos on said bits (again, not an issue with appropriate clothing). I hope that clears up your confusion. Have a nice day!
Leah4
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I certainly am defending Southwest, Matt! Southwest is So Wonderfully Awesome! 🙂
nsx
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To T Lince: Her failure to assert that she was wearing panties does not prove that she was not. It merely adds doubt. If Southwest were to come forward and tell us that passengers had reported seeing private parts, we would have a strong indication that the underwear was insufficient or absent. As things stand, without this information, Southwest is the one with its pants down in this PR battle.
Karen3
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I think the decision to approach the young lady was correct. She couldn't sit and rise on the news programs without flashing the camera, so I doubt she could on the plane either. BUT I agree with the comments that the matter should have been handled a bit more discreetly - no one else should have heard, even if it meant the flight attendant and passenger stepping out into the walkway.
Neil_Snyder__CP
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I do not view this as a decency issue. If it were, Kyla would have been arrested on her way to the airport, in security, at check-in or somewhere else in the airport for indecency. Since she was not arrested, it can be assumed her dress met contemporary standards in San Diego and Tucson. Over the years, I have flown Southwest by far more than any other airline, dozens of flights, and certainly there is all levels of dress or undress on many flights. Individuals travel in everything from tank tops and gym shorts, tube tops and hot pants to just plain poor fashion. This is probably one of the reasons Southwest has often been dubbed the "Greyhound of the Skies". Therefore, it is clear this is really a moral issue, and that I find is frightfully disturbing. As Keith, the flight attendent, is purported to have said, this is a "family" airline. The inference can be drawn that her attire is not acceptable for moral reasons. Southwest does not have a written policy on "morals", so I assume that it is totally subjective, and they make it up as they go along, depending on the flight, day of the week, flight attendents on duty, etc. One thing is for sure, by SW's management response of backing their flight attendent 's actions in passing judment on the moral dress of this passenger, they have found religion!! Are they trying to become our "fundamentalist" airline? As other's have pointed out when Herb was in charge, Southwest's flight attendent's wore provacative outfits in their own right. For myself, and others I have talked to, we have found the treatment of Kyla outrageous and reprehensible. Will one of us be their next victim? I am now very curious to explore on how they feel on other so called moral issues, and if they will continue to humiliate other passengers, without warning as they did Kayla, who are lawful but deemed "immoral" by SW Management or a segment of society traveling that day on their airline. We know how Southwest feels about liquor- they give away free coupons, but how does Southwest feel about its gay passengers? Would they have a problem with a same sex couple holding hands or kissing because it offended another passanger. What if Bill ()'Reilly was on a return flight from watching a ballgame in San Diego and complained about a gay couple traveling together on his flight. As it appears that managment is supporting and perhaps leaning towards intolerance, I would urge the management of Southwest to define its moral standards so we can see where they stand on a variety of issues, and then we as passangers can make an informed decision on whether to fly the airline. I start jury duty in Tucson next week. For her case, I think 2 years salary of the highest paid Southwest Officer would be a suitable compensation for her harassment and humiliation.
Anne16
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God, if only it was true..that so many of you would choose NOT to fly SW...how nice that would be. Less crowds, particularly trashy dressers, would be a nice thought. But who do you think you're kidding? Southwest is the best airline in the country. Herb Kelleher had it right..The customer is NOT always right. This bimbo had to pull her blouse UPand pull her skirt DOWN ...take a good look at the photo...if that's the case, she was absolutely obscene. If someone took offense and complained, SW is in their rights to address that complaint and take action. She absolutely should have been embarrassed, not by SW, but by her own lack of modesty and and shame. she was an embarrassment to women and to smartly dressed hookers!
naunnie
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what a classic case of peeing on my shoe and telling me its raining....This young lady may have been embarresd but she was not humiliated...it was her choice to go public with her embarresment will she sue the today show for censoring her as well? Yes to you all who think it is OK to show everything in public...Public Indecent exposure is regulated in America and it was not a SWA regulation..and to those of you that have chosen to make this blog a form of stating your political and biased rules based on national orgin..I am hoping that SWA will forward your comments to homeland security, as I find that much more perturbing. I agree with the person who states SWA will be a much more peaceful and enjoyable ride now that so many have volunteered to go elsewhere, Not to mention a much safer ride.
sarahlex
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Yes, Joe, that national VP of NOW must have been protesting Hooters because she was overweight and unattractive and just felt so darn unworthy. It couldn't possibly be because she was taking a stand against the objectification of women and the fact that there are establishments that profit from that objectification. She wasn't standing behind the beliefs of her organization at all - she was just feeling sad that day because someone might have perceived her to be overweight and most unattractive. And the women who are posting here to defend Southwest must of course all be definitely overweight and most unattractive as well. And what of the men who are defending Southwest? Or does it not matter how the men look?
Gail_Shepherd
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If SouthWest has a single scrap of corporate integrity and pays even a slight attention to the opinions of its customers you'll admit that you blew it big time on this one. Do the right thing and apologize to this girl and stop hiding behind some phony corporate "policy".
Dr__Kyle_Neeley
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What would Southwest Airlines do if Marilyn Manson came on the plane in Gothic dress? How about if the President of the Southern Baptist Church was sitting across from him, and began morally judging him for his dress. Many people dress Gothically, or in todays fashions--which is the accepted norms of the fashion world. Can any other person judge another for what they wear on MORAL GROUNDS. This issue is truly not about what Kyla was wearing and more about someone "The AIRLINE ATTENDANT" who has been recently given more power by the airlines to enforce whatever silly rules they wish. I have noticed a continued trend in my past 50 or so flights where the flight attendants are less friendly and more confrontational with passengers. For an Airline that claims to have "POSTIVELY OUTRAGEOUS SERVICE"--I would agree that the treatment of KYLA is "SERVICE AT ITS MOST OUTRAGEOUS FORM". I have flown over several hundred flights in the last few years and I think I can distinquish a difference in behavior of management solely through its actions of instructing their staff. When babies are removed, women are chastized,and people are MORALLY JUDGED this AIrline is definitely in a declining mode by not trying to provide great service, Southwest Airlines once gained quickly in popularity for having Flight Attendants who joked with the crowd, lightened your hard day with a smiling face, and the entire crew (ground & air) would go out of their way to make your trip better. Captains' on the flights used to Thank You for flying Southwest and in the last 6 flights I have only heard this once. My last flight to San Diego over Labor Day Weekend began with a Flight Attendant who once I was seated in the Emergency Exit row asked if I Knew I was in the Emergency Exit Row and would I help in case of an Emergency. I repeated "Yes" loudly, she then proceeded to say I did not hear you in a very serious tone. I repeated "YES" respectfully, and she then said, "If you can not answer than I will have to move your seat." I then spoke at an alarming level and she then proceeded to say, "You don't have to yell at me." She said this same thing to toher passengers in the same area. This constant kind of harassment has been more and more prevelant when flying. Truthfully, it takes all the fun out of flying. It makes me reconsider that the hassel of passsing through security only to be treated miserably by the Flight Attendants makes flying a painful experience. The ending to this blog is to ask if I feel that screaming childrten should be MORALLY reprimanded by the FLIGHT ATTENDANTS and thrown off the airline because they offend my silebnt nature--with Southwest AIrlines policies--I would fully expect them to honor my personal needs over another passenger. If you read that clearly, I hope it sounds as stupid as it was intended. What is next? Who is next? What Culture is next? What will be the criteria for these judgements, and since I pay the fare to fly--Don't I get a Say? Or is Southwest Airlines just too big to care about providing service. Knowing that if they just take as much money as possible, people will put up with whatever Southwest cares to dole out to us. With 96 million passengers, it seems likie they just do not care anymore. I am deeply disturbed and hope that Kyla does sue the airline and the flight attendant for their lack of care, their MORAL JUDGEMENT, and their harrassment & humiliation she did not deserve.
Jeramy_Brian1
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Everyone on this blog keeps saying that "she was kicked of the plane". From all of the reports I have heard, she was asked to adjust her skirt to be "less revealing" and then she was permitted to stay on the plane and take her original flight. I don't see anything wrong with Southwest asking the young lady to make herself look more appropriate in a public place. I wouldn't want my daughter to dress like that.
JR1
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All I have to say is that Southwest is the best. Now all of you that are bad mouthing Southwest ought to be a shamed at yourselves. I can assure you that most of you who are trash talking are the first ones to call when ever you want to go and visit families and friends during the holidays and want a low fare. I support southwest and all of the employees. P. S. For all of you staying at home and saying you hate Southwest, Go and Fly Jet Blue and American and get stuck at the airports because they all cancelling there flights .... Southwest rocks!!!!!!!
Ray6
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Southwest should require all women to wear a burkha in order to fly on its planes. Better yet, women should not be allowed to fly at all. They should stay home and clean the house and be submissive to their husbands. (LOL) I bet that if you check the flight attendant's background you will find another flaming right wing evangelical. Hope she sues your ass and collects a bundle. The guy should have been fired on the spot not only for what he said but the way he went about it.
Matt_Lorentzen
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Southwest almost kicked Kyla Ebbert off her flight because her outfit was "inappropriate?" What about Southwest's "Gay" section on their home page? (Go to Southwest 'sitemap.' ) You'll see the word and link 'Gay.' Click on that and see Southwest's pictures of gay men in tight shirts being affectionate. Southwest then recommends 'Gay Friendly' destinations with the Siuthwest vacation packages. Give me a break Southwest! THAT IS WRONG!! Supporting Gays! It's not wrong that Kyla Ebbert wore that lovely outfit she had on! Southwest, you should be ashamed, especially since the Southwest 'Gay' link is just down from the 'Kids corner' link!!!!!
Ken14
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Exactly when did SouthWest Airlines get elected to the office of Fashion an Morality Police??? I have flown SWA for years and remember when they were the "Fun" airline. Apparently now things have changed...the PAYING customer is no longer "right" and their gestapo tactics of pulling patrons off flights at the whim of their "Old maid" looking stewardess's will have me looking to fly on their competition.
Disgusted
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I have a few questions that everyone seems to be saying but SWA still needs to answer: 1 What is the "official" response by SWA on this issue? Haven't seen or heard of one yet. 2. What is the Leadership (CEO and Chairman) of SWA saying about what appears to be very bad PR? Does anybody in business ask themselves "what repercussions will my company experience from my actions if the issue was published in the newspaper?" This was klnown as the "newspaper test" and it prevents many embarassing situations. 3. Why is SWA, specifically the editor of this blog, trying to defend SWA's actions by deflecting their lack of professionalism to NBC? 4. What is the airline going to do about handling sensitive customer service issues in the future? How about SWA posting a "bill of rights" for the travelling public for their airline. There seems to be quite a few REALLY angry customers here. SWA needs to remember, the people that post on this log are current and/or future customers and if they decide the ones having a "pro" Kyla attitude do not meet the "values" of your airline, I hope they will be prepared to explain to the stockholders and maybe Congress why "values" are more important than the travelling public's right to be comfortable. I am disgusted with this whole thing. I believe the Kyla was wronged and SWA should pay. What I am more disugsted about are the people who believe that their value systems and morals are far in excess of mine and they can dictate what I can and cannot do. To those who think they that their "values" give them special priveldges because they are "better" than me, get REAL. I am as good or even better than you. I am an individual and do what I believe is correct. We all see what extremism and extemist thinking is doing in the world now, right? We do not even have to look overseas, all we need to do is look in Washington DC. How many of our freedoms have we lost, young men and women either lost in battle or scarred for life and billions of dollars wasted, because a bunch of extremists are working the top jobs in DC?
Jim9
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I am shocked about on how the young lady was treated on your airline. By your own response as shown on the Today Showm you handle these situations in a "discreet and professional manner." Being severely reprimanded about her attire within earshot of other passengers on the plane is neither discreet or professional. I will join the thousands of others who will not fly your airlines at all from now on. Maybe you can save some face by doing the following: 1) apologize publicly to the young lady (should have been done long ago!) - regardless of her attire, she was embarassed by the inappropiate actions of your employees; 2) fire the individual that scolded her about her attire with earshot of other passengers on the plane - he has done irreparable damage to your customer service reputation; 3) severely reprimand the person who made the decision to confront the young lady (if not the individual above) - enforcing a non-existent dress code in that manner was obviously a wrong decision; and 4) in the future, if a young lady's short skirt becomes an issue, try giving her a blanket and a brief note requesting her to cover up in a polite way (THAT would be discreet and professional!). As it stands now, you have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of customers due to this PR fiasco. I hope she does sue you for thousands more for the humiliating way that she was treated. Your refusal to handle this problem 2 months ago has probably cost you possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars - and I see your stock has taken a tumble the past couple of days - no surprise there. Good luck fixing this sinking ship.
HongQi
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Company shills like Matt and Kimberly are forced to make strawman arguments for lack of any other substance. Of course the company has the right to refuse service...it is just stupid and we are pointing that out. They could refuse on any number of grounds and we would still have the right to call them on it. Coke switched to New Coke, perfectly within their rights, and the country showed them what a mistake that was...same with SW.
AWR
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BRAVO SOUTHWEST!! Our family has always been loyal to you because of the care and attention you show us when we board w/ our children. Now, there's another reason to LUV you! We would not want our sons sitting by that poor girl.
Roger5
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You seem to be caught in the middle of a bad situation. I would bet that your employee was trying to treat the issue discreetly and something intervened. Don't bow to all the bloggers currently insulting you on your handling of the situation. They say they won't fly with SWA, but most of them are so shallow, they will be on your next flight because it leaves 10 minutes earlier than anyone else's. You could probably use some help in the letter writing department if the Today show read the complete letter. Trust your employees.
SSullivan
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Every place has its rules of order, whether spoken or unspoken. And as many have pointed out, the woman went through many other checkpoints on her way to the plane, without incident. That's the problem. She had gone through all the preflight scrutiny, that we all endure now, only to be rebuffed on the plane itself. Anyone who has taken a series of these flights cross country feels like a bus rider after about the third or fourth leg. And my understanding is she was going on a brief trip to a doctor in a nearby town. That's the shock of it. The expectation of an easy trip, the walk through the airport, and then being singled out, like a scapegoat, for something as benign as a skirt length, offends women. Rules are followed especially when posted: "No shoes, no shirt, no service", etc. and she was clearly wearing her shoes, once they were given back to her in security. She had two shirts on. And a bra. In Italy, shorts will get a woman tourist kicked out of a church. In India, certain times of month preclude women from entering a temple. The old traveler's guide books always recommended that the western traveler dress conservatively to go through international customs, no matter how hot it was, no matter what the dress code was at the beach. As many of you point out this isn't a public place, once you step on the plane. Maybe that's the confusion, the airport is a public place, but the plane is the terrain of a private business. I would have been stung but the reprimand and found another carrier right away. That is a cost to our traveller, since most doctor visits require 24 hours notice for cancellation. That's the cost of having a dress code that doesn't jive with the public airport where Ms Ebbert crossed uneventfully onto the southwest plane. Is the airline making a lesson of her? Might this have backfired, alienating other customers who thought they understood Southwest's easygoing culture. There was a time when moving the offending person far away from the offender passenger might have been the solution. I'm not sure why no one thought of that. As these posts indicate, not everyone was offended by her attire or even the prospect of it. If the air line has a gay section, perhaps it should have a night club type area for the over twenty one crowd. This happens all the time in cities, the skateboaders vs the grandmas, the mcMansions vs the old bungalows, etc. We use space with people operating with different rules. Can we control them? Is there some minimum agreed upon dress code for the traveller, the diner, etc. I hope that Southwest takes the time to understand these concerns. Otherwise I'm sure people will make their own sense of it for good or ill.