Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

A Different Perspective

blusk
Not applicable

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
Sloi
Not applicable
Thank you for the judgment call your representative made, and for backing this person's decision. It's nice that at least one company has high standards in today's culture. I have a young son. When he gets older, I don't plan on taking him to a strip club, so why should he be potentially subjected to such behavior and dress on an airplane?! I'm sick and tired of hearing about "personal rights". When is America going to stop being so selfish and have some common decency and sense?
Steve_Purkhiser
Not applicable
I was apalled to see the treatment that the lady received by one of your staff, and cannot believe that this could happen. I looked at your web site and could not find anything about a dress code. I'm sure it is there somewhere, embeded in the page after page of useless information. I personally hope she sues Southwest for this slanderous treatment. The last time I was on a Southwest flight I was treated very poorly by the attendants on the plane, and am curious if it was more their complaint, or the complaint of a "prude" passenger who was likely jealous of her. Rest assured, I will NEVER fly on Southwest again. I would think with the general state of the airline industry, this would never have happened.
Danielle2
Not applicable
Southwest should be embarassed! With the industry needing to gain all the customers they can- its amazing to me that Southwest has the nerve to belittle its customers!
Paul1
Not applicable
When did South West Airlines become the modesty police? If you are going to start enforcing Sharia law, maybe you should change your name to South West Asia Airlines.
Kathleen_Merril
Not applicable
What SHOULD she have been wearing? A Burka?! Oh, I forgot...she DID end up wearing a Burka, because she was forced to sit under a blanket for the whole trip! What is the definition of acceptable attire by any person on a SW flight? I have witnessed truly appalling outfits on almost every SW flight I have ever taken. Let's look at this honestly...extreme body odor and/or pants hanging down and showing underwear (or worse) is okay, but this young college girl's T-Shirt and Skirt were not? I am further disgusted by the fact that SW has not apologized to this poor young woman, and has indicated that they felt the actions taken by their employee were acceptable. Well, I guess that means the next flight I take on SW, it will be okay for me to require that any person sitting next to me, that I find to be personally offensive, will also need to travel under a blanket in order to make the trip (this would include screaming babies, any man in a sleeveless shirt with armpit hair showing, anyone with poor personal hygiene, anyone wearing too much perfume, anyone in yellow because I hate yellow, and anyone with a bizarre piercing, tattoo or hair color/style! This is just reprehensible! I live in a college town and this young woman was dressed better than 99% of the kids I see every single day. She should be congratulated for making more of an effort than most young people make in their personal attire, and not humiliated and embarrassed!
jim
Not applicable
WOW! I just thought assigned seating was a hot topic. West Texas Blog Boy is going to join the boycott - I'm not going to fly SWA again today, or even this weekend. There - you've lost my business for three whole days. Wait a minute - we have guests in town, I can't go anywhere anyway. Ah - the wonderful world of the internet. The event happened over two months ago and until two days ago, nobody had ever heard of Kyla Ebbert. Now she's on The Today Show - with her attorney - saying all she wants is an apology. Yeah, right - all she wants is a big fat jury award. Be sure to check out the FlyerTalk posting (http://snipurl.com/KylaAtFlyerTalk) mentioned by NSX above, there are some interesting hacks to see what Kyla's MySpace profile looked like before her 15 minutes of fame started. And last but not least, does anybody remember when SWA removed a passenger wearing an "F- Bush" T-shirt a few years back? They made the right choice then, and I'm sure they made the right choice now. It would be interesting if Southwest's legal department would let Kieth make a posting here, describing why he asked her to cover up. And to all the people above who claim they will never fly Southwest again - we will miss seeing your cheerful faces on board. Face it, SWA is a pretty casual airline and to ask somebody to change clothes or cover up means that person had gone way beyond the boundaries. I'm guessing this situation, just like the "F- Bush" situation, was handled properly.
Gene_Ketchersid
Not applicable
I am extremely dissappointed by how Kyla Ebert was treated by an airline that I have used exclusively for years. If anyone has a problem with what she was wearing that day, perhaps it is that person who has the issues here. People in this country need to grow up. We're all adults, and the kids have seen much worse. Prudish behavior like this makes us seem just like the Muslim fundamentalists that we feel our way of life is so threatened by. Too bad this type of hyprocrisy has reached the culture inside of Southwest Airlines. The little TV's in the JetBlue planes are looking more and more attractive...
nettie
Not applicable
I think southwest airlines are way out of line. How dare southwest airlines humiliate and degrade a young woman, or anyone for that matter. We are the people that keep you in a job, I for one will never fly through you that's for certain. How mean of SOUTHWEST AIRLINES TO DO THAT!
D_Confer
Not applicable
Kudos to the airlines. Thank you Southwest. For someone so terribly distraught and humiliated because she was asked to cover , why did she offer to humiliate herself further by taking a flight with the offending airline for the return trip? How much is her dignity worth? By not only going back for a second helping, admitting to wearing the same outfit on the return flight, but also crying to the media months later and wearing the same outfit in front of millions of viewers she is getting what she wanted in the first place, plenty of attention.
GottaLuvCruisin
Not applicable
Even MSNBC referred to the view when this "young lady" sat down as "crotch shot". Maybe she just doesn't care. It unfortunate that so many people dress like this in today's lack-of-culture. But I don't think Southwest should have gotten involved in this case. And, unfortunately, we probably haven't heard the of this story.
davec
Not applicable
Since when did it become an Airline's responsability to hire fashion police? You fly, we pay. What is there to debate? If I wanted fashion police, I would ask you provide them.
Bill_Scharrer
Not applicable
When you start to post guidelines for appropriate attire on at you ticket counters, I'll start to fly Southwest again. I won't risk having my travel stop by self-appointed fashion police. Maybe you should hire the Taliban to check your passengers.
dave_g
Not applicable
As the dad of a 16 year old girl her mom and I feel that if this was are girl we would SUE YOUR WINGS OFF! how dare you. Your flight attendents dress in shorts of that cut and we will pic another airline in till you come up with free flights for life to this girl and a very large "Were sorry and we were stupid" and this is not the middle east,,,yeesh You can over shoot a runway or land in the wrong city, but dont you ever force your morals or some other persons morals on your paying public, and if i complained a person behind me was ugly would they have to put on a vail? HOW VERY UPSETTING......
Michael_Hill
Not applicable
Everyone that agrees with Southwest either works for the airline or is a 300 lb very jealous woman. My ripped up "Rewards" card is in the mail Southwest!
Charles11
Not applicable
Shame on you Southwest.... Learn from this mistake Humbly apologize Drop fares for a few months as a make up gesture Give this gal a few free RT tickets And join the rest of us in the modern era.
J_C_
Not applicable
If a woman gets kicked off a plane for that than 90% of the females in highschools should be kicked out of school
Dana_McElheran
Not applicable
Pretty sad that a airline that is usually viewed favorably would lower itself to such petty behavior. Was probably a jealous attendant.
Michael_H__Maye
Not applicable
I will no longer fly on SouthWest as their inability to treat the customer with respect proves they are not interested in my business. They allow drunks to fly to and from Las Vegas but get concerned about how an adult is dressed. I need an airline to provide me with fast, safe service not mother's advice.
stimpson65
Not applicable
Notice that 99% of posters here that actually support SWA's actions are WOMEN who didn't give their email on their posts. LOL Women are so JEALOUS of each other's looks! Sometimes I think it borders on a psychosis. Do any of the people here that have spoken out in support of SWA have any concept of WHY what SWA did is not right? Here is the meat of the issue: 1) SWA does not have any published dress code or published notice indicating such attire is 'inappropriate' on it's planes. A recent call to SWA was answered this way: "You can wear a bikini if you want as long as all the right spots are covered". 2) The clothing worn by the woman was way more than legal both in her originating location and at her destination. 3) The woman was given no indication her attire might be a problem until AFTER she was seated. Why? ( We all know the answer to that). 4) Customers have flown on previous flights wearing clothing that was significantly more revealing (during Halloween) and experienced no problems. Why was this girl singled out? (Again, we all know why). 5) A flight crew or passenger has NO right to demand different attire on a passenger if the airline has no posted dress code and the person is legally clothed. Period. SWA need's to realize that, if it wants to repair the damage done by this HUGE mistake, It's going to have to make it's policies and passenger rights known to it's customers PRIOR to flight. This woman was treated in a way that, if it were me, I would sue too. I can't believe there are some people here who can't see the error in SWA's way's. To those people, all I can say is "Get over yourself".
Alison11
Not applicable
I am not flying on Southwest again. I do not support businesses that degrade women.
AlwaysflySW
Not applicable
Shame on you, Kyla! I think it's hilarious she says she's embarrassed by her treatment. What, so embarrassed you'll go on NATIONAL
PG
Not applicable
Thumbs down for Southwest. I've been flying your airlines for years and I was disappointed to hear about how the young lady with a mini skirt was treated . She's young and it's the summertime. Her attire was not a security threat on the plane. Sounds to me like someone from your staff was probably jealous. I bet if she was a celebrity she would not have been asked to cover up. If I wear a pair of shorts are you going to kick me off the plane?
Lisa13
Not applicable
Perhaps one of the biggest guffaws by Southwest is letting Brian Lusk post a comment on their corporate blog that takes no stance, offers no insight into the Southwest position, and just takes the incredibly spineless way out: linking to the Today Show article because, I'm sure, it mentions 3 times how short the woman's skirt was. Is this your way Brian of "communicating" with your customers? Say what you really feel -- say something -- if you have a Corporate blog. Otherwise, just let your customers post and stay out of the conversation. Your effort was a very thinly veiled way to say what you really feel (Gee...her skirt was REALLY short! There was a reason we acted liked idiots) without saying it. Unbelievably embarrassing and poorly handled all around.
eugene_huskey
Not applicable
WHAT IS SOUTHWEST THINKING..The official from SouthWest that did this needs to resign. I for one will not fly SouthWest again. Shameful actions on the part of Southest
Nicole8
Not applicable
Southwest shold be embarassed by their actions toward that young woman!!! She paid for the flight just like everyone else and should be able to wear what she likes when flying; some may not find it appropriate but if she is not bothering anyone else "Keith" should have just kept his out of line comments to himself. I WILL NEVER FLY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES AGAIN FOR THIS TERRIBLE DISPLAY OF CUSTOMER SERVICE!
N_Anderson
Not applicable
Southwest must have a company policy that not only allows but encourages Southwest employees to insult paying customers. That is bad, bad business. Southwest had a tv show featuring them mistreating customers. Now they are on the news doing the same thing to some poor woman who dresses in a perfectly acceptable manner. At the end of the day, I will pay more for a flight with another airline that values customers instead of being rude to them.
N_Graham
Not applicable
I am so tired of people (male and female) dressing in a revealing manner in public. I do not think the Southwest was out of line in the least for what they did, and I applaud them. To compare this event to Muslim fundamentalists is out of line. Southwest has shown me and my family that maybe..just maybe...people should think about how they look and act in public. There are so many places that my family and I do not go just because of the indecent way of dressing of too many people. It is too bad that that girl has such a low opinon of herself that the only way she can feel important is to flaunt what should be covered.
cynthia2
Not applicable
SW - YOU WERE RIGHT and all of the uninformed and ignorant obviously didn't SEE what everyone else saw. When the HOOTERS (Paris Wannabee) is standing on Friday on tv in her "totally appropriate" skirt look at where the TOP of it - more than half way down her hips and EVEN THEN it is so short that when she tried sit down - you see - well I hear you see her panties. . because when I saw the Today show this a.m., you see a blur - since even the tv people who were acting all sympathetic realize than this was more than a little inappropriate!!! - so they blurred her crotch! If this is how short the skirt was with practically pulled down her a- -, what was it a BELT when it was at least on the hip bone? GO SWA! Critics. . .just go away. (I am a woman who as always fought and struggled against discrimiation - but just because she is female - 1. we don't have to excuse her bad behavior and 2. we don't need to see the anotomical proof that she is female!
Nicole10
Not applicable
Kayla Ebbert accidientally flashing (which she DID) and some random pervert flashing their junk on the street on order to victimize people are NO DIFFERENT in the eyes of the law. Indecent exposure is indecent exposure. If she had to be blurred on TV, just imagine what it was like in that terminal! Southwest was just protecting their other passengers. Get a grip people!
Fred_Dameron
Not applicable
If my daughter was humiliated like this young lady was the MALE flight attendent would answer to me and the SouthWest would have one hell of a law suit. My daughters dress the same way and if some overzealous religious police wana be took her off the flight and lectured her I would have him fired!! If you want to be the religious police go to Saudi Aribia they have an entire police dept that takes care of that kind of thing. Saudi West Air anyone.
Camacho
Not applicable
Wow !!! how ridiculous does Southwest look....I wonder how many women are lectured before their flight from the LA area to Vegas every Friday....I travel frequently from Los Angeles to the Bay Area....Perhaps I will fly JETBLUE more frequently from LA to the Bay...I will suggest the same to my business associates....
Ian_A
Not applicable
I thought Southwest was a fun airline, the people's airline? Like me your management probably grew up in the 70s & 80s, what happened to them? Have you all gotten so old over the years that you've lost touch with reality? Get hip again SWA pulease, or you'll get the handle Staid-West Airlines! Virgin America will be laughing all the way to the bank as they pick up the younger aged passengers and even 'mature' young people like me.
Tom_Satterly
Not applicable
An injury to one is an injury to all. When one young woman suffers misogyny at the hands of a corporate bully as the result of a complaint of a single member of an extreme minority, we all suffer. I can't help wonder what the next reason for persecution will be? Or who will be the next persecutor? Will I be the next one humiliated? Will you? Will it go beyond humiliation? Perhaps public punishment will be next...I don't know. Do you? Please take to heart the words the words of Reverend Martin Niemoller,a German Lutheran monk arrested by the Gestapo in 1937... "First they came for the unions, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't union. Then they came for the communists, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, but I didn't speak up because I was Protestant. And then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up."
Kathy2
Not applicable
I am actually proud of Southwest for standing up for it's other customers. I wish they would show surveillance video to show how her clothes really fit on her body. I'm sure you would see her tank top above her belly button and her skirt pulled up higher. On the news you could see her panties when she sat down and you could see her rear the entire interview. I can only imagine what it was like when she was going around the airport bending over to pick something up or to arrange her belongings on the plane. They need to show some of the video to back up their decision. We support their decision!!!
nicole_ann
Not applicable
your airline dropped the ball big time!!!
Ivan_Vila
Not applicable
I am a high frequent-flyer with a couple airlines and have never flown South West. My wife and and I watch a TV show called "Airline" which depicts day-to-day events at different airports with South West. Watching the show is clear that South West's workers think that they only way to get camera time is by denying boarding to passengers. As an executive for my company I fly a lot and have never seen any of the airlines deny boarding to slightly intoxicated passengers or even passengers who look like they are on something. Your airline is the worst at discriminating based solely on appearance. This latest event (the lady on the Today Show) confirm that South West is THE WORST AIRLINE IN THE US. May Americans stop flying South West.
Gary_Ray
Not applicable
First, I would like to speak to most of the men who have commented on this blog then I will comment toward the ladies. Gentlemen, it is amazing to me that you would write your comments so obviously out of your lust. Lets just stop and pretend you have a 14 yr old daughter and she started to leave your house dressed like this. Would she make it out the front door with your aproval? Ladies, please allow me to give you a lesson in modesty. First, if underware visible it ain't modest. Second, believe it or not most men will find a modestly dressed woman more attractive over the long haul than an imodestly dressed one. They have to spend to much time and energy being insecure about the relationship (who's scamin' on my gal?). Sure imodesty will get you some pretty obvious short term attention (one night stand kind of stuff) but do you really want that? I guess you can probably figure out my position by now. I think the call was correct, it probably was indecent when she sat down based on the pictures that I saw, however, I think the employee could have handled it better. Perhaps offering a blanket with a discrete comment about seeing her underware or something like that. Of course is someone wants to get upset they will and it would probably still made the news.
JC4
Not applicable
Oh puh-lease. Your FA's and "employees" need to get over themselves. One of the reasons that I started (and continue to this day) flying SWA was it's irreverence, not taking itself too seriously, not being like every other airline and respect, nay "Luv", of the customer. I'm not sure if it's Herb or Colleen's (impending) departures that are leading to the changing attitudes, or the hiring practices of those in the HR department, but lately our beloved Southwest is starting to resemble UAL, DAL, AA, NW, etc. (i.e. the survey about paying for seat reservations) Remember, if you start thinking you are more important than we are, we (your loyal paying customers) will leave you faster than you can say AirTran.
Tim1111
Not applicable
Offensive? Why don't you crack down on the real trouble makers - the loud talkers, the offensive b.o., the parent's with the cute little monsters, not to mention your airline's issues and delays.
Tom_Rice
Not applicable
I lost a lot for Southwest after hearing about their treatment of this passenger. I have always been impressed with Southwest's service, yet to hear them defend this action without any apology is quite amusing. Unless their dress code is printed on the ticket or boarding pass, I think it wrong to make a random spontaneous decision regarding one passenger's dress. Whether the skirt was too short or not, she was wearing underwear and should not have been embarassed by Southwest. What's next? Weight limits for passengers? You're starting down a slippery slope, SWA.
Tom21
Not applicable
What blows me away is how poorly Southwest has handled this. Look, the general consensus is that the flight attendant acted stupidly. This was not a serious issue. He made it such. Bad call, maybe he had a bad day or something. Poor judgment happens. So Southwest comes out and...defends itself? What?!?!?! How hard would it have been to say, "you know, our person handled this in a way that was not optimum, we want our people to make decisions, sometimes they make decisions that do not reflect our corporate philosophy, blah blah blah..WE'RE SORRY." Instead, Brian Lusk, above, just HAS to point out that when the poor girl sat down on the Today Show, you could see her panties. Oh my. I'm sure the seat back and tray table immediately in front of her got quite a show, but for the rest of the customers on that plane.... I fly a ton. My opinion of Southwest is this: good airline, makes money, but arrogant customer service staff. It appears that arrogance is corporate policy.
Felix_Corman
Not applicable
SWA owes the young woman an apology. And you should fire the person who confronted her. That sort of over-reaction does not represent your company well and is indicitive of a less than professional attitude. Or should I say MY comany as I have a significant amount of SWA stock. Depending on how this all comes out I may have taken my last SWA flight.
Len_Holliday
Not applicable
Saw on TV recently how hospitible you are. Saw the skirt, sold my stock.
Anonymous3230
Not applicable
Well from the looks of these 109 coments people arent happy about this situation. Southwest has such a reputation but this is not something I would expect from this airline. I really do hope Southwest comes out with some sort of apology.
Mrs__Linda_Warr
Not applicable
Thank God for the employees and management of Southwest Airlines who took a stand against immodest, indecent, immoral dress. It is time businesses stop such lewd apparel in public places. If I as a paying passenger, have to tolerate such dress with my children along, I pray another airline will step forward and demand decent dress. If I wanted my children to be exposed to her harlot dress, I would take them to Hooters. I nor my husband have ever been, nor will we ever go there because of that very thing. It is not o.K. to expose such immodesty to Christians who consider it an abomination. God will bless South West for doing the right thing. I hate to think of all the men who committed adultery who looked upon her that day and on the TV. She will have to give an account to God for it. I will continue to fly South West and reccomend to every one I know to fly it. It takes courage to stand for what is right. We would honor God more if we would get back to decency in public places. Shame on that girl
Ken_F_1
Not applicable
The fact of the matter is this woman was discriminated against, and discrimination is a violation of human rights laws. Southwest is set up for a major lawsuit and it is hard to believe that this lady would not prevail. If there is a dress code for flying Southwest, where is it? Is it posted? Is it printed on the customer's ticket? What's that?...it's not printed anywhere....ooooh, sounds like your legal department is in deep trouble. IF someone did complain on the plane...and that is a big IF...is that grounds for expelling her? If I do not like the color shirt the man next to me is wearing, will you ask him to leave? With the exception of a few "family" folks and "Christians", 99.9% of the responses above are in favor of the passenger....what does that tell you? Where was your head when you let this story get on national TV? You should have had a full page ad , apologizing to the passenger, in every major newspaper in the country this morning, along with a statement that the Southwest employee responsible had been fired. THAT is the kind of press you want, not putting the story on the TODAY show and dragging yourself through the mud. Sure hope you have some good lawyers on your team...you are in for long, destructive, and very costly litigation. Not to mention the negative effect this is going to have on your corporate image. If only you had thought before you acted. Hate to see any good company go bankrupt, but if this incident causes that, it is hard to say you didn' t deserve it.
Lauren_H
Not applicable
I have flown Southwest loyally once a month for the past three years. Today I purchased my first ticket on United. I may fly you again but for now, I feel that I should spend my money elsewhere.
Joe26
Not applicable
I took the advice of Bian Lusk at the beginning of this blog and read the comments of one of the Today Show's co-producers, Dan Fleshner. Here's a quote: "Southwest did, in fact, let her take the flight, but apparently not without embarrassing her and making a scene. It seems like unless there was a particular incident or complaint from other customers, then she should have been allowed to fly without any issues." I think Southwest overreacted in what they did, and underreacted by not publicly apologizing. Southwest has lost my future business. I'll be flying ExpressJet from now on.
Suzanne1
Not applicable
FINALLY! I stand up and applauded you at Southwest Airlines!!! Thank You! As a former flight attendant , I thank you for standing up for your company and your employee's decision; asking Miss Ebbert to dress appropriately for a family airline. Maybe a little humiliation will help her and other's make better future decisions on what is and isn't appropriate dress in public. I hope other business's will follow your lead. Suzanne
Patricia1
Not applicable
What happened to "land of the free"? These airline personnel are on a HUGE power trip! Southwest (and other airlines I have noticed) need to have some sensitivity training! I have seen a lot of attire on people that I wouldn't wear but it is none of my business or the airlines. I think the bigger problem these days is inappropriate behavior by the airlines. I will think twice about flying SWA unless they apologize for the way they handled this! This is AMERICA folks, let's act like it. For all those people saying they are offended by this type of dress I say quit looking. It is pretty hypocritical to say you don't approve but then tune in to the Today show to watch for crotch shots!