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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
Chuck_Gibson
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HURRAY FOR SOUTHWEST!
Anonymous2128
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I will not flight anymore Southwest. At least before you could look pretty woman while eating the .25 cents penuts. Now you just got the penuts
Jay6
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Southwest did the right thing and I support them 100%. We don't need to be looking at other peoples underwear
Julie_Jones
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I am a very liberal personÃ
Robert_E
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Kudos for Southwest!! What someone wears in private is their business. But when she forces her lack decent moral standards to be viewed by myself or my family, who would have no choice but to sit there and avert their eyes while in the boarding and flight process, I say great job Southwest! The sad state of affairs is why more of the public is not outraged by an obviously beautiful young lady thinking she has to practically bare it all to be desirable, chic or Ã
Barry_Hoehn
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When I reach up to put my bag in the overhead bin, sometimes my belly shows. Will I be asked to leave the plane? If so, I'll make my next reservation on Hooters Air!
Helo_Pilot
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Sharia Airlines - that should be your new name. I will never fly Southwest again, nor will my family - until a public apology is made to Ms. Ebbert.
Anonymous2128
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If Southwest wants to make up for the mistake. The should ask all their flight attendance to wear nice miniskirts. What a great idea...and it's Friday.
Bethany_L
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Southwest treated a customer badly. The young lady was clearly dressed in enough clothing. All the parts that needed to be covered were covered. I have flown SW twice, and I definitely saw some people on the plane who were far more scantily clad. They were not harassed. They just weren't as attractive as this woman. What kind of an employee singles out a woman because she is attractive? That's twisted. Customer service is clearly not a priority to Southwest. You don't treat a passenger like that. The public pays you money to fly on your airline, or at least we used to. Not anymore.
C_Jones
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This is nothing but someone wanting their 15 minutes now. Good call on this one. Had one person complained before the Flight Attendant/Customer Service Agent said something to her, the result would have been the same. Great job on panty flashing NBC and it's viewers.
C_Ellis
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congratulations to Southwest for backing their employee regarding this controversial topic. after reading some of the stupid posts, I'm sure that these outraged people will once again fly Southwest when they realize that they are passing up the cheaper fare or the more convenient flight. No wonder Southwest is known as one of the best places to work. This story is no more than making a mountain out of a mole hill. I wonder where Kyla will show up next to display her embarrassment to the nation. Any guesses???
Vince-Phoenix_A
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WOW!!!! I have read most of the 180+ posts on this subject. I am convinced more today than ever that this society is so easily led. I am a loyal Southwest customer along with all my fellow employees. We are free to pick our carrier and each of us chooses Southwest because of dependability, reliability, value and CUSTOMER SERVICE. I am sorry that the young lady in this situation made the choice she did. It was the CHOICE of this passenger to opt for removal from the flight, rather than adjust her attire. I am sure the reports have all stated that the customer was asked to pull her skirt down (so that, when in a seated position, she would not flash any of the other passengers). Forget who her employer is. Personally I find that to be some added hype to allow the media to make this into some sort of discrimination case toward a certain segment of the working populous. It is time to grow up and realize that individually, we can make any decision we want. The flip side to that is that there are always consequences; some good, some bad. I would hope that if this becomes a legal matter that the judge presiding over the case would dismiss it as a frivolous waste of the courts time. There are so many more important things going on in this country. I am happy to see that Southwest did not cave in to potential negative press. If you will not stand for anything, you tend to fall for everything. I look foreword to my next flight on Southwest!
Jeremy_Stoll
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I thought this was a joke when I heard of this incident. I still cannot believe that Southwest Airlines has stood behind this employeeÃ
Chuck_Gibson
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HURRAY FOR SOUTHWEST! It's your airline and you have every right to make your own rules. If they don't like it, let them go elsewhere. I, for one, am proud of your employee(s) for taking a stance for decency.
R_White
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I'm surprised at the polar opposite opinions expressed on this site versus those commenting on the NBC site referenced above. I commend SW for enforcing some judgement of what is appropriate dress on their airline, even if it is subjective and not uniformly enforced. I can't speak to where that tiny skirt was positioned on the day of the event, but in subsequent news footage she has the top of the skirt positioned so low that it would fall off if lowered another inch, and her shirt stretched to reach the top of the skirt. NBC censored her exposed undergarments when she sat down on the tv show, something not done in the internet video. Perhaps it is time for a dress code. If it means you can't fly in your pajamas, perhaps I won't have to sit next to you.
Michael_LaPlant
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You have got to be kidding me. I cannot believe that not only was this young lady embarrassed by your employee, but that the knucklehead is still even employed by you. There are bikini's on the beach, and T.V. programs on prime time that show women in more revealing outfits. If the individual who addressed this situation on board the plane has that type of issue, maybe he should visit countries where there are no freedoms of choice or dress. Yes, I do agree that the outfit may have turned heads, but what is your problem. If it bothers you, THEN DON'T LOOK...
Bill_Giebel
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I am also very disappointed in the way that young lady was treated. If your going use the excuse "family airline" then be consistent. I've been a very long time business customer of southwest. Mid 90's when I stated flying several times a month. In the past southwest was always one that I looked at the most. Those days however are indeed in the past. I've seen much worse than that on your flights both from customers as well as the racy attitudes of some of your flight attendants that are delusional when it comes to their entertainment talents. I think that you've made a huge mistake.
Nad
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What people are NOT asking is, did she have on panties? If she did the airline is kind of out of line, although I think they can impose whatever rules they want on their property. If she was bare, then she was flashing people and that is not legal. Any guy who shows his junk gets arrested. So Southwest needs to clarify this point and the issue will be resolved. Earlier articles stated that she was bare, but now none say that now.
Julia2
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Never liked Southwest much myself anyway--cheap fares don't make up for the annoyance of the cattle-call boarding process, and their staff does dress like they work at McDonald's. And though I'm not young, or cute, or prone to dress like a Hooter's waitress, I simply can't accept that it is in any way a flight attendant's job to be the modesty police. Nor any of the rest of us, for that matter. We each get to choose how we portray ourselves to the world--for you who refer to yourselves as "Christians" (though I see no evidence of any Christ-like behavior among such people) who see this as some kind of mortal sin--believe what you like but please keep it to yourselves and stop trying to inflict your beliefs on the rest of the world. Learning to accept that other people are different than you are is typically something learned around kindergarten. Grow up.
Jewell
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If she was properly dressed for a public (and not a private appearance) then why was she "embarrassed". Perhaps, deep down, she did doubt that her attire was appropriate. If she doesn't mind looking, well, like a Hooters whore then I doubt she would have been capable of modesty after the fact. Perhaps she will think next time she leaves the house with a swimsuit cover passing for a travel emsemble.
Jerry_Sussman
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It's O.K. for a group of Muslims to wear hajibs in 90 degree weather and to expect the entire captive passenger body to endure their prayer rituals while flying at 600 miles per hour. And perish the thought that anyone dare complain about some Sikh who insists upon boarding an airline with a ritual dagger. But perish the thought that some attractive young woman should dare to board an airline dressed in nothing more provocative than the very same clothing that one might expect to see on any public street during a warm summer's day. Then all hell breaks loose. This country is going to Hell, led to the road to ruin by politically correct jackasses who don't realize that they are contributing to the demise of their very own way of life. If "Hooters" outfits are not fit for Southwest Airlines, then neither are hajibs, turbins and the other third world outfits that you allow. I'll walk before I ever ride aboard Southwest Airlines.
Lori5
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The comments on the NBC website are much more in line with my thoughts. She flashed her crotch again on NBC this morning and they had to black it out. While, I do think that Southwest made a mistake - because they probably dont have a policy to support this - but I also think that the people who are "outraged" and defending this woman are laughable. Southwest may have bungled this episode but painting her as some victim who should sue is ridiculous. And lastly, I sure don't want to sit down on a seat after she has parked her barely clad body there.
D_Thomas
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Are we slowly creeping back into the 50's. At least Eisenhower was a better President. If she sues I hope the Judge throws the book at you Southwest.. Because remember you may be cheaper but there are other airlines. Why shop at Wal-mart when for a few pennies more and better customer service I can go to Target.
Rhonda_C
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WAY TO GO SOUTHWEST! Everyone is talking about the girls "rights" and how she felt. What about the people that DON'T want to see that? They have just as much of a right to fly the airline without having to be exposed to what they may think is offensive attire. And is it okay with all the women out there that was for her skirt, mind if she flew next to their husband or man for hours? They might not make a date before they landed, but perhaps avoiding the temptation would be the way to travel (no pun intended). And those wanting to justify themself dressing that way, saying, "Well he don't have to look" is a cover to expose yourself. Men look. Even when they are 80 years old. Maybe more then.
Linda_Feris
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Southwest Airlines is the biggest hypocrite around. This is because they began their business by flaunting sex by making their "stewardesses" wear very short hotpants, probably the same length as Ms. Ebbert's shorts. I'll never fly this airline again. Get over yourself SWA. You no longer the only low-cost airline around. And, frankly, some of the low-cost carriers have a lot more class. I'm never flying your airline again.
Roland
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Maybe Southwest can have their own reality TV show. "What not to wear on our airline." The pre-show clips could go something like: (Scene: Woman in miniskirt enters plane.) Announcer: See how unsuspecting paying customers react when.... (Sound effects) Buzzz, "You've been yanked." (Scene: Woman being escorted off plane by flight attendant.) Announcer: Before they know it they're being invited off the plane by Southwest's fashion police because of what they're wearing.....or should I say not wearing. (Scene: Nervous woman seated in plane in short skirt motions to flight attendant.) Uh....could I have a blanket, please? Hey, this could even spawn new businesses. Imagine pulling that Sky Mall magazine out and seeing new products being offered like, "Make sure you measure up. Before you go on board, this handy measuring tape will alert you to whether your skirt puts you at risk of getting yanked because of Southwest length violations or you can go on board, confident that you can take your seat and be left alone to travel to your destination. Only 5.99 plus shipping and handling." Or maybe, "Disposible coverups, only 15.99 per pack of 12 plus shipping and handling. You'll never have to worry about getting yanked again. Easily fits in your purse. Comes in Southwest orange, red, white and blue, fashionable black or tan. Come on Southwest, get a life. If your stewardesses were wearing those hot pants they used to back in the '70's, they'd all be at risk of getting kicked off the plane. Hey, maybe you can put it up for a vote while on the plane, ask the passengers if the offending party can stay or leave, that way you leave it up to the jury, so to speak. Ahhhh, another era comes to an end, no more "Fun Fares." Thanks for the laugh.
Lisa_McDonald
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Thank you for drawing a line in the sand on what some people decide they ware going to travel wearing. I saw the girl on the Today Show and my 1st thought was "she's a Paris Hilton wannabe." That is not a compliment, btw. I remember when people dressed up, rather than down, to fly anywhere. It was suits and dresses and now it's flip flops & cut-off shorts & t-shirts. This is a microcosm of what has happened to our society over the past 3 decades. If people would just use consideration for others as their measure for behavior, this type event wouldn't happen. I am, however, chuckling at the irony here. I seem to recall an upstart airline whose flight attendants used to wear "hot pants" and had the motto "We really move our tails for you." You;d never get away with that in this day!
Cyndie_Finley
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I am very happy that Southwest has taken a stand on this. I agree with them completely! I am a Mom of 4 boys. I am grateful that there are still companies that are not afraid to go against the norm and stand up for what is right, even if it is not what is popular! THANK YOU SOUTHHWEST!!!!!
M_4
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YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! I HAVE BEEN FLYING SW FOR YEARS AND MANY TIMES HAVE BEEN SEATED NEXT TO SWEATY, SMELLY AND OBNOXIOUS PASSENGERS ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION. NOW YOU KICK OFF AN ATTRACTIVE PASSENGER, WHO MOST WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A SEAT MATE BECAUSE SOME UPTIGHT PASSENGER COMPLAINED. YOU SHOULD HAVE KICKED OFF THE COMPLANING PASSENGER AND NOT THE NON OFFENDING YOUNG LADY. WHERE IS YOU COMMON SENSE? I WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO FLY SW BUT WILL OPT FOR ANOTHER OPTION IF ONE IS AVAILABLE. SHAME ON YOU!
Marlene_Castric
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It is beyond belief that Southwestern Airlines would impose a moral dress code. Providing we do not break the law, we have rights and freedoms in this country. Ms. Kyla Ebbert was not illegally exposed in anyway. Her outfit is almost a uniform on campuses around the country. The Supervisor who made the call and imposed the sanction should go to Iraq, forfeit her rights and don a Burqa. Anyone who feels the supervisor made the right call should join her. She is obviously a misplaced and misguided individual. Poor Ms. Ebbert was needlessly humiliated. I hope she sues. I know that I will never travel Southwestern Airlines again, for business or pleasure.
Michael3
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I am really disappointed and stunned at the manner in which Southwests "Dress Code" was enforced. It is now my understanding that the knees must be covered before boarding one of your flights. As a frequent Southwest customer, this really distresses me as I have traveled in shorts in the Summertime and this would clearly be in violation of your policy. If I should decide to travel on your airline in the future (it depends on how this issue is resolved) you can be sure I will point out ANY vilolations to your crew and my fellow passengers.
sharon1
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Thank you Southwest for upholding standards. And the comment by abc News " that's what some girls wear to school" that's another moral problem. Southwest, you have given me another reason to fly my 11 yr. old with you next summer. It's about time that someone upholds decent attire policies.
B_Christensen
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Well I took a look just to get every angle. Sounds like you want to use the show to justify the Customer service rep. for the action taken. Sorry to say, but I still agree with the majority 49% said that the attire was not inappropriate, 21% said yes and 30% would change the outfit was worn by a daughter. Well most daughters, when we think about them are in their teens and living at home and yes maybe for a 13-16 year old it wouldn't work. But come on, an adult woman. Tolerance is apparently not a concern with SWA. What's next? Long thick coats a security risk even at winter time, short beards required to eliminate the loss of hair in a plane. Reality check people!
Rich_Maffeo
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I just read this news report: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296053,00.html BRAVO to the steward for doing something right, AND for SW administration for supporting someone in their employ for doing right. I am very grateful to have read this story, especially so because our culture no longer seems to know right from wrong, modesty from immodesty, pretty from provocative. Rich
Will9
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I find it ridiculous that SouthWest would kick off a customer based on how she was dressed and yet allow a a 400lb. obese person to smother the armrests of anyone unlucky to be next to them. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten off a flight smelling like the heffer that was wedged into the seat next to me. Get a clue SouthWest.....this is really shamefull.
D__Joseph_White
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This is 2007, not 1957. This is America, not Afghanistan under the Taliban. I am extremely disappointed in the decisions of the so-called adults of Southwest Airlines. Ms. Ebbert's clothing was nothing that hasn't been seen before. Her outfit was not the kind that is sold in Frederick's of Hollywood, and I am sure it was not sold in a discreet plain brown wrapper. Ms. Ebbert was the victim of discrimination and subjected to actionable offenses, which may include civil rights violations. Obviously. In choosing to eject Ms. Ebbert, Southwest made a statement. It is taking sides in the culture wars. It is allied with the sexist prudes who wish to return this culture to the repressive aspects of the 1950s. Southwest needs to grow up. I hope they are on the wrong end of legal action and a boycott.
Chelley_Godwin
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I am appaled at Southwest's treatment of Kyla Ebbert. I am a 24 year old female, and can only imagine how humiliated I would be if this happened to me! I will never fly Southwest Airlines, and will strongly discourage my family and friends from flying with them in the future.
T_Lince
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The only things I find amazing about this incident are: 1) The incredible number of people who need "a dress code" or "a formal policy" to tell them that flashing your hoo-ha in public is inappropriate. (Really? You need an articulated policy to tell you that? And you really can't distinguish between a burka and a Sharon Stone flash? That's the limit of your thinking? You can't envision any middle-of-the-road between the two? It's either the Taliban or you dress like a hooker after a hard night?) If that girl is 5'5", that skirt is no more than 6 inches long. Get out a ruler folks, and hold it up to yourself -- see just how "long" that skirt really is. If you still think that's "appropriate" to wear on a public airline, then read on: 2) The incredible number of people, male and female, on this blog who are clearly advocating for clothing optional airline service. Apparently there are so many of you who don't want to be forced by a -- what was it someone said upthread? A Nazi attitude? -- to wear ANY clothing at all, that Southwest or some other airline should look into providing clothing optional flights. Then all of the "I'll never fly Southwest again!" crowd can all get naked together and fly to their hearts' content. Hygiene-schmygiene! Kudos to Southwest. You don't need a formal policy to know the girl was dressed inappropriately. You did exactly the right thing. It's too bad for the girl that Child Protective Services didn't pull her away years ago from the mother who is obviously bent on pimping her own daughter. THAT is what is truly apalling about this whole thing.
Mpapillon
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Honestly, doesn't Southwest have anything else to be concerned about? This is so ridiculous and arbitrary! Who cares what that woman was wearing and as for the comments regarding seeing up her skirt, last I checked, you don't sit face to face on airplanes anyway. I suspect someone was feeling a little bitter and decided to take it out on an easy target. Shame on you Southwest! You're an airline that started on a marketing campaign as the "luv airlines" w/ flight attendants in hot pants! Talk about hypocracy! You should refund her in the very least and definitely apologize....
Lane
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I hope she sues your PANTS AND SHIRTS AND SKIRTS right down to your undergarments off. There was nothing wrong with her outfit and I have seen and smelled a lot worse not only on your airlines but others. If you are going to start a dress code then get rid of the colognes and perfumes also. If it was so offensive why did you not pull her out at the gate rather then off the plane, great security again Southwest did not know a mini skirt and tank top could be so bad, you think the less you wear the easier for security(no hiding spots) Ms. Kyla Ebbert should be the new CEO of Southwest as she will probaly have enough of their money to do it with GO KYLA, teach the airlines a lesson and take their pants
Jim_Scott
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In reference to the news about Kyla Ebbert - being asked to "cover up" on a Southwest flight...bravo to Southwest Airlines! No doubt, she is a looker, she wouldn't work at Hooters otherwise. And believe me, I am the first one to look up the skirt or down the blouse of a woman to provides the opportunity. That's WHY I dont want them to do it. That is WHY we have rules. She is "humiliated"... OMG, thats absurd. But NOT humiliated by the revealing outfit she was wearing. Humiliation is a great lesson provided we learn from it. I sure hope Southwest doesn't cave in to any "legal action" on her behalf. Decency is an attribute to any business, I hope you keep running the airline with the same resolve. She needs to show a little more respect to the public and and little self respect. Dress respectably.
iso
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With any due respect, you should be fired Mr. Lusk! That is, if what appears above, is the only and complete response on this matter from you and Southwest. Linking only to the non-germaine opinion of the NBC producer (which has a starkly different account of what happened) is a weasely response to the actions of company employees. Being a long-time fan of Southwest (and flying it 2 - 3 times a month) I was shocked that of all the airlines, the incident was with them! The flight attendant or CSR should note the history of the air travel industry and flight crew uniforms - PSA ring a bell? Braniff? Also note, in the tiny airline passenger seat space of today, who would be able to see what they shouldn't? How many more people - on both sides of the issue - can now be offended because of the stupidity of a Southwest employee?? Rethink your company's response to the issue - because it isn't just about a girl in a mini-skirt.
Victoria1
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It was with great sadness and shock hear about the poor girl that was ordered out of a southwest plane. Lets not forget that soutwest in its early glory days had flight attendants dressed in hot pants and short uniforms. Nowawdays it seems that this airline is run by bitter, humorless, demoralised and backward thinking pseudo prudes. It is a pity that SWA has stooped so low. The airline can count me out as a customer--
Bob18
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If there is any entity in America least qualified to serve as the fashion police, it is a passenger airline. I am not sure what a "family" airline is. In my experience, families travel on every airline. I do know that if Southwest treated a member of my family the way it apparently treated this passenger, it would lose my business for good. As it is, I will not travel on Southwest until it apologizes to this customer. You had no right to humiliate this woman in front of other passengers, whether her skirt was too short or not. And if you are going to throw people off planes because of the way they dress, have the decency to advise the public exactly what the dress code is. Presumably, that code will have a more objective standard than the personal taste of a particular flight attendant or a complaint from an individual passenger.
Trish2
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I am grateful someone finally said enough-that is too short. There should be a socially exectable level of behavior in the common public. Certain words should be avoided. Appearances, both in clothing and grooming should be conservative (I've sat next to too many people who really should shower more). The amounts of PDA shown shouldn't make you feel that you have walked into a sleezy movie. I completely support Southwest in their efforts to say enough.
Mike21
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Southwest empowers their employees to make decisions based on the criteria of their "family friendly" motto and the employees have the courage to act on it? I like this company! Just another reason why I'll keep flying.
Michelle_S_1
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Could it be imminent that Southwest is going out of business? Humiliating customers as a business strategy!? SW forgot who pays their exhorbitant fuel bills. Thankfully, other way cooler airlines fly LA to SF (Hooray for Virgin America!). Fellow travelers, haven't we all already acquiesced to enough of a Nazi agenda in airports these days?
Julie15
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After seeing Kyla on the Today show this morning I saw exactly what was wrong with this outfit. If this was a man flashing himself he would probably been arrested on a sexual offence. The skirt was too short, when she sat down there was obviously nothing between her underwear and the seat, a hygeine issue I think, and too I don't want to see someone else's underwear, not Kyla's not Brittany's... that skirt should have been left at home to wear in the club, not on a plane, in a resturaunt, or any place where unsuspecting people have to view witness to her undergarments, or lack there of as Natalie Morales pointed out as a possibility. I support Southwest in this and wish more places would hold a standard, no we don't have to return to floor length skirts, but lets face it there are some things that don't need to be seen outside of your own home, or the strip club.
CiCi
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Thank you to the flight attendant. I am not a prude by any means, but it's obvious the skirt started at well below her navel and ended extremely too high. Knowing the fact that skirts rise upon sitting, what did she think was going to be covered. Give me a break....she was humiliated?? Maybe that outfit is fine for her job at Hooters. Why do so many women wear clothes that they fall out of or are hanging out of. Do we have to see everything?? Thank you to Southwest!
Francie
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You can't dictate taste, culture or self respect. I wonder what the response would be if she were unattractive or even obese?