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
Joy3
Not applicable
I think the Southwest attendant did the right thing in letting Miss Ebert know she was dressed inappropriately. Too many people and businesses today would rather look the other way instead of standing up for what's right and decent. She showed how ignorant she was by taking this public and then proving the skirt was too short as she sat down for the rest of her interview. Cudos to Southwest! That attendant deserves a commendation.
Mike_G
Not applicable
You guys blew it bigtime on this one! If you had any sense of damage control you would apologize to her and fire Keith. As it is I hope she sues you and collects bigtime. I know if I were on the jury, a number with six or more zeros would be appropriate. Maybe then you would get the message.
Rob_Frew
Not applicable
SWA is rediculous. What probably happened was the guy who asked her to leave tried to hit on her and she didn't respond so he got pissed and tried to embarass her. And SWA backs him up?? You got to be kidding me. Let me see, I can get drunk on the plane and annoy the person next to me the whole flight but this innocent college student who didn't cause one bit of commotion almost gets kicked off?? Back asswards. Southwest, you lost my business!! As well as a lot of my younger friends who are all now afraid that you'll try to kick us off because maybe the guys shorts are a little too short and you don't accept tank tops or the girls are wearing skirts with sweaters. No more SWA!!
Ted1
Not applicable
I made a huge mistake and said that if Southwest Airlines, aka Witchhunt Airlines, doesn't apologize quick, I'm finding another carrier. Well, Miss Ebbert's flight was back in July! And the result of a review by a Southwest corporate office: a reply to Miss Ebbert's mother insinuating that her daughter's dress was *lewd* (Southwest: to paraphrase Senator Lloyd Bentsen, I know lewd; lewd was my friend; Miss Ebbert's dress was no lewd dress). As of now Southwest will be my LAST airline of choice. But there's a silver lining to every cloud. The straitlaced, the stodgy, and the simple can have Southwest; you know where the bubbly, bonny, and bright will be: anywhere else!
Jack9
Not applicable
One more example showing the decline of Southwest.
LiliRoze
Not applicable
Thank you, Southwest, for standing up for decency. Ms. Ebert dresses the way she does to attract attention. Just because the attention she got this time was "negative," too bad. (Even her mother has been quoted to say her daughter sresses "provocatively") . Well, she provoked someone, all right! I'm certain she flashed her privates to everyone when she sat down. That skirt is way too short. Thank you for sticking up for modesty and family values. She may have been "humiliated," but seriously, does she consider the humiliation she causes in others who have get eyefuls of her personal "assets?"
noproblema
Not applicable
Who the hell do these people think they are!!!! SW Airlines used to be one of my most admired companies. The way they continued to make money after the 911 attach was very impressive. However, after this BS they can count me only as a former customer.
John_Loar
Not applicable
This is a no win for SWA, but watching the video and seeing Kyla cross her legs and her underwear or some tights showing is a little revealing. Kinda stimulating, but appropriate, I not so sure. I feel sorry for SWA, but I think they were addressing a customer complaint, a justifiable one.
Tim_Reddock
Not applicable
Just purchased a ticket for a business trip to Houston...... on Continental. Hope this issue is worth what it is going to cost you. Keep up the good work against a rouge passengers threatening you employees with clothing. Oh, the horror!
Amy19
Not applicable
Well, thanks for adding to my list of airlines I refuse to fly. I admit the longer the Bush administration is in office I am less and less able to stomach watching or reading the news, so I may have missed Congress finally repealing what is left of the Bill of Rights. But the last time I checked, the young woman in question was fully within her rights to wear the clothing she did, regardless of whether many of us consider it in poor taste (as I do). If Southwest Airlines is going to support its employees forcing their own personal morals on their customers in an arbitrary manner, then I will not be one of those customers, since there is no telling what some random Southwest employee may choose to lecture me about on my next flight. If Southwest wants to be the airline of the religious right, then they should at least publish and uniformly enforce their policies so those of us who do not wish to be subjected to them can avoid them. For those of you who support Southwest's behavior in this matter, watch your back because tomorrow someone may be infringing upon your rights in the name of "common decency".
J__Purcell
Not applicable
Please Please Please... Do you really want to go down this road... I have endured so much on Southwest Airlines with Passengers who smelled like they just crawled out of a spetic tank or bottle of Whiskey. From the Overweight Travelers to Sick Kids. If Southwest insists on taking a Moral stand...how about taking a stand on personal hygiene and Weight first. Have your customers step on a scale, pass a sobriety test, and take a shower before stepping on the plane. Let's promote Health, Civility, and Hygiene...Wow Not only would I pay more for my ticket... I'd be your best customer.
Daniele
Not applicable
There are many comments left on this page putting Southwest down, however, I would just like to point out the fact that it doesn't mean anything. Anyone who has studied customer service and such knows that negative feedback is easier to obtain than is positive because left than 5% of those who feel positive ever really leave the feedback. Especially on blogs! I just wanted to make that clear. BRAVO Southwest! Her skirt was too short. If when you stand up you have to PULL your skirt down then it probably is a good sign that it is too short. Watching her on the show, I thought I saw too much when she sat down. Her butt looked like it was going to fall out at any moment. A women might smooth out a skirt when she stands up but if she literally has to yank on the bottom of the skirt to make it come down...well dear I think it is too short. As a mother I wouldn't want my child to see that, nor would I want to sit through a flight as everyone stared at her. I do believe though that if a company is going to tell customers what they can and can't wear then you must be consistent, they must be equal to men and women, and they better have some type of guidelines written. If not then that company may have problems justifying a situation such as what happened with this "girl".
Dean_Troy
Not applicable
After hearing this I would go out of my way to not fly on Southwest Airlines unless the company would publicly apologize for the inappropriate action of the supervisor and state that the supervisor in question was terminated.
Cheryl6
Not applicable
I watched the Today show interview. Hooray for Southwest! Thank you for standing up for the rest of the passengers on that flight. Stop flying with Southwest? Not me! I applaud the way you operate your airlines. This young lady and her mother can try to find another airlines out there that will cater to their behavior. I just flew Southwest from San Diego this month and I would have cheered for the CSR if that had happened on my flight. Don't the folks that own the airlines get to call the shots? It was obvious that the family was looking for dollars and they hoped crying on the TV would help their case.
flywheel
Not applicable
Bravo to "Keith" for stepping into a difficult situation. He attempted to handle this in a discrete manner, it seems. Somebody has to take a stand against this kind of gee... tempting, teasing, provoking... none of the words are really appropriate because they are all charged with the "she was asking for it" accusation. I don't think she was asking for anything, that's the trouble. She was just wanting to look "sexy". By all means girls, ya gotta look "sexy". All the time. After all, if you don't look "sexy" then you just might be oppressed. Then the next thing you know somebody will want you to wear a burka. Bravo to Keith or whoever he was, and I applaud you.
Mike23
Not applicable
The decision by SWA on this matter was absolutely ridiculous. The woman was wearing perfectly acceptable clothing, ESPECIALLY for a destination in AZ. Your own representative said that a bikini top was acceptable. I am not sure why she was singled out, if it was a passenger complaint or a problem by the male representative, but it was totally out of line. Since there was nothing wrong with her attire, I could only assume that you were discriminating against her because she was an attractive woman. In that case, I will not be booking future flights on SWA.
Mark_s_best_fri
Not applicable
For all of the 300+ comments that are posted .... do you think that you have the right to judge either SWA or the girl. NONE OF YOU WERE THERE! . So, NONE OF YOU have the right to say a thing good or about about SWA or the girl. You dont know if the way she was dressed today was the same way she was dressed on her flight. You dont know how the issue even came up. Unless you were a passanger or a crew memeber on that flight that day, the only thing you know is what the media has said.
Heath
Not applicable
I've been a loyal Southwest customer for a lot of years. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way that girl's dressed. Furthermore, as someone who's flown on your flights into Vegas plenty of times, I routinely see women dressed far less modestly than her. No one seems to object to them (nor, for that matter, do I) but if this girl's skirt was a problem plenty of the ones I've seen should have provoked a crisis. Your people were wrong on this, and you're compounding the PR problem by not apologizing and pledging to handle such situations differently in the future. Frankly, I'm disappointed because I normally think quite highly of your company. Hopefully you'll see your error soon and acknowledge it.
Mike23
Not applicable
Followup: Today was the first time I ever wanted to file a complaint against SWA. A company that pushes customers to ticket online and do everything electronically, does not even have an email address to file a complaint!!!! WOW, that is GREAT customer service!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a huge disappointment. You lost a family of PHX travelers today.
Bethany_L
Not applicable
I find it funny that Southwest is trying to take some moral high ground when they aren't even capable of treating people, and PAYING CUSTOMERS, decently. The woman's clothing was none of Southwest's business. It was an arbitrary decision. I've had to endure some really annoying people sitting next to me on flights, but I never thought I was so important that I could get them kicked off of their flight. Other passengers paid to be on the flight just like I did. I don't have to like them or approve of their clothing. I don't have to like their screaming children, but I would never demand that they get kicked off of a flight because they irritate my sensibilities. I can't believe Southwest has not issued an apology. If she sues, she will win, and she should.
Anonymous3519
Not applicable
I read about 20 replies and gave up. If this is posted above, I apologize for repeating someone else's comments. As an employee, I see plenty of people come and go on a daily basis, and quite often I see a few outfits that make me do a double-take. I don't say anything, but I am constantly amazed at what people consider decent to go out in public wearing. As far as Ms. Ebbert goes, she has brought herself into this mess, and is probably enjoying the publicity. I'm quite sure that other passengers have been spoken to about their attire (or lack of) and have never made this big of a deal. The days of modesty are far gone. For all of the people who are saying that they will never fly this airline again, think about it, really. If Ms. Ebbert hadn't have brought this issue to the media, you'd still be LUVing us. Don't let a silly little thing as a too-short miniskirt turn you away. SWA has already apologized to her, done deal. She's going to be milking this as long as she can.
kpar
Not applicable
Her outfit is the standard style for the times. Why is now an employee making policy decisions on the fly, based on his/her moral beliefs, in the absence of a dress code? A dress code that restricts attire beyond the acceptable social level? Southwest has not apologized to her, or its customers, which makes me believe that this type of employee behavior is acceptable to Management. It is shocking that a Company like Southwest would allow its employees' moral choices affect how its customers are treated.
Ben2
Not applicable
Mr. Lusk, Seriously, you're making excuses here to justify your employee's actions? The lawyer on the Today show nailed it - in the absence of a published dress code, general decency rules apply. Was the girl's outfit provocative? Certainly (this, coming from a guy in his 20s). As a frequent flyer (although never on SW, fortunately - I like my 36" pitch in E+ on UA), I've seen outfits like this more than a few times. I have a general issue with flight attendants who think that their word is law - I've seen power-tripping FAs on UA and AA, but this is certainly one of the more ridiculous ones. Your flight attendants have NO PLACE imposing their personal morality on passengers, unless you have plans to modify your Contract of Carriage. You've blown your chance to get an apology, and now you'll at the least probably have to fork over some $$$ for a settlement. Hopefully you'll dock it from this Keith's paycheck.
Dale7
Not applicable
I KNOW I will never use your airline again. I hope you have to pay $100,000,000 in damages to her. Your actions were not proper. I can not believe this happened in the USA. Sad conduct on the airline part.
Will1
Not applicable
SHAME ON SOUTHWEST for humiliating this young woman in front of an entire airplane full of other people! This is completely absurd!! I could go on and on, yet as I have better things to do- will settle that: Southwest is grossly wrong in their actions taken against this passenger and this event makes me SICK. SHAME ON SOUTHWEST.
Krystin
Not applicable
Here's the thing, opinions are opinions and everyone has them. As and airline however you have NO RIGHT to tell your customers how to dress or to take them off of a plane and lecture them or publicly humiliate them. I don't think that I can ever fly with this airline again. Even if someone else had a problem with what the girl was wearing it was their choice to tell her, not a representative of the airline who should have stayed neutral. They were both paying customers. It doesn't matter if she showed up in a bikini and heels, she has the right to dress however she chooses. If you don't like it then you don't have to look. And you ALWAYS remember that while it may not be the choice that you would make, you certainly enjoy having the right to choose. At this point I would rather pay a higher price to avoid flying with an airline who has no respect for women, for their customers, or for themselves. I hope that this costs SWA a ton of money. I hope that they do the right thing and apologize. But in the mean time I will be encouraging my friends, my family, my business associates and everyone else in my life to take a stand and fly with an airline who knows that respecting their customers comes first. I can't believe how disapointed I am with SWA.
Nadya
Not applicable
I flew Southwest just last weekend for a business trip, and let me assure you that I will not be using your airline again, for personal and business use. I will also be sure to send this story to all my friends and discourage them from flying as well. You have embarrassed that poor girl and you have embarrassed yourselves, and I hope that your business suffers.
Bob_Dunlop
Not applicable
As a stock holder in southwest I am displeased that the company has taken it upon itself to start dictating what is or is not ok to wear. She already has parents and don't need any more. The young lady was not indecent, her clothing was keeping with current trends for that age group. Her clothes were not illegal. She paid her ticket price like any other air traveler which should be all Southwest needed to concern itself with. If things continue as they are Southwest will be one stock holder less!!
Peter2
Not applicable
Are you crazy?? I can only hope she sues the pants off of SWA as I have no doubt she will win.
David35
Not applicable
What your flight attendant did was wrong and should not be tolerated. sw should be ashamed. Any child allowed to watch tv would see alot more than that.
G_A__Whitehead
Not applicable
The young lady is an adult, and people see more then that on the beach. I think that this was uncalled for. You have the right to think and feel what you beleive, but not punish others for thinking differently. What's next telling people they can fly because they are Christian.
Ross_M
Not applicable
Good one southwest! You just lost about half of your business. I hope the girl you kicked off the plane sues the crap out of you!
Robyn_Carnes
Not applicable
KUDOS, KUDOS, KUDOS to Southwest Airlines for thinking about every other paying customer on that flight. I saw the outfit the gal was wearing on the Today Show, and it was clearly revealing way too much. As a society, we really need to think about the message we're sending our kids - is modesty really that bad? Every wife, parent, and child thanks you for taking a stand. I am proud to fly on Southwest Airlines.
pcerda
Not applicable
HEY!!! Here's an idea....... Fellas, Just show up wearing a sock. Just one. Where you place it is up to you. I mean, it does cover everything right? Since everyone is bashing Southwest for being the "fashion police, that should conform to your standards, right? You can wear that on the street and not get stopped right? Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Ladies, A thong and pasties would be appropriate attire. After all, you ARE covered. Heaven forbid that someone should infringe on your right to express yourself. You'd want your teenage son to look at that and have your daughter dress like that as well, right? See how ridiculous that sounds when you put it that way? Jedi Blog Master
Ellen3
Not applicable
I'm old enough to be her grandmother so don't dress like she does, wouldn't even if I was 20 pounds slimmer as I'm not "advertising." That said, it's not the airline's business how she attires herself as long as it is within the law. This used to be a free country. What next? You can't fly with dyed hair? A coat? A nose ring? Elbows showing? Get a grip, SWA. Flight Attendants' primary job is the safety of passengers, not fashion police.
Sandi
Not applicable
Hope you get your asses sued off. This was totally out of line. I can guarantee that your airlines has been put on my no fly list.
Terrence
Not applicable
Your position that you can decide what YOU think is appropriate come right out of southern businesses book before civil rights.Of course their decision was based on skin color.I hope she sues and wins big.I have flown SWA to Chicago but there are many ,many others to choose. I agree who the heck do you think you are?
BEWARE__Mr__Lus
Not applicable
Guess there will be no mile high club on SWA? GO UNITED!!!!!!!!
Charles_Wright
Not applicable
I have always made Southwest airlines my first choice in travel but this issue with this young lady was just down right wrong. We have young men and women fighting the Taliban and their moral police as we speak. What is next, will all of the female passengers have to wear burquas to fly southwest? I have always respected Southwest but I sure have second thoughts now. I think the flight attendent in question should be reassigned to the baggage handling chores then this person(i use the term lightly) won't have to be offended by people dressed as this young lady. She was quite attractive in the attire that she was wearing and Southwest had no right to confront her. I would guess that most of the people here that are against her dress would not even fit into her clothes and are just envious of her. I hope the young lady sues Southwest and wins big because Southwest Airlines has shown how small it is.
Dana_Cianfrani
Not applicable
After this dress code thing, I will no longer continue to be a repeat customer on any southwest flight again, since someone may decide to discriminate against me and have me change. Unbelievable....is all I can say. I am going to take my business to American Airlines or United and pay more but not have to worry if I may be booted off a flight for how I am dressed. Now who even complained about it anyway...Was it a passenger or maybe some frumpy jealous flight attendant. Other airlines should benefit from this idiot who complained. I know that I WILL GO ELSEWHERE WITH MY BUSINESS.
Tawny_Bish
Not applicable
I applaud your actions!! It's about time someone stood up to say "no!" to the filth. Thanks for your courage and your honesty--it's about time a company took a stand on a higher moral ground. Let the whore sue--she showed her panties to the nation on the Today show. What kind of nastiness does it take to do something like that?
Dana_Cianfrani
Not applicable
After this dress code thing, I will no longer continue to be a repeat customer on any southwest flight again, since someone may decide to discriminate against me and have me change. Unbelievable....is all I can say. I am going to take my business to American Airlines or United and pay more but not have to worry if I may be booted off a flight for how I am dressed. Now who even complained about it anyway...Was it a passenger or maybe some frumpy jealous flight attendant. Other airlines should benefit from this idiot who complained. I know that I WILL GO ELSEWHERE WITH MY BUSINESS. Thanks. Dana
Donna_Kincaid
Not applicable
I saw the young woman's outfit and it was no more revealing than what would be seen in any shopping mall across the US. Southwest Airlines needs to print their dress code so people know what to wear. I did't realize that you had fashion police on your flights. I hope the man who took it upon himself to humiliate this young woman is no longer employed by your agency.
William_Altizer
Not applicable
To whom it may concern, Unbelievable. This is what comes to mind when I heard this story and read all sides. The correct thing to do is to immediately fire the employee and compensate the customer. Since there is no stated policy of what is considered proper dress and behavior, anyone can be treated disrespecfully by some bonehead employee who obviously had a bad day. You can actually handle issues like this in a respectful, correct fashion. I don't need any clown who is having a bad day all of the sudden arbitrarily makes a decency and morality decision, based upon scant evidence and no official policy humiliating me or my family. I find it inconceivable that Southwest continues to defend this indefensible behavior. Stop being ridiculous and do what is right. Fire the employee immediately and make it right with the passenger.
Chris29
Not applicable
Oh one more thing as for the genius that said i hope she wins 100,000,000. Lets all hope she does seeing how her feelings, 5min of inconvenience, and 15 min of fame are worth more than a dead boy's life. The ramifications that would follow her win...all ticket, I MEAN ALL ticket prices on every carrier would increase significantly.
Amanda14
Not applicable
I personally want to THANK Southwest Airlines for upholding to a family friendly flight environment. I saw what Kyla Ebbert was wearing and have to say it looked very slutty. Yes, it was better than Brittany and a few other celebs but maybe we need to rethink what is appropriate and not let them guide the rules for us. I also took a look at the Fox4news poll...and I stand with the 62% out of 1476 votes carrying the stance that she didn't need to choose such attire for the public. I am proud to support Southwest Airlines now and will continue in the future. I believe the airline to be a wonderful way to travel. A family member of mine worked for Southwest for a number of years and loved the service and atmosphere. She appreciated also how Southwest treated their employees. WAY TO GO SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!
Louise_Trainham
Not applicable
There is hope on the horizon! Schools are passing dress codes so baggie pants cannot be worn (I have yet to see a pretty butt crack) and now Southwest Airlines is standing up and making passengers dress decently. Thank you. When I saw Ms. Ebert on TV, in the process of sitting down, you could see her white underware. I guess we should be grateful she was wearing underware. I wonder how many people, who were offended by what SW did, would be offended by someone 300 pounds dressing that way. Or, how about a 80 year-old man wondering around the airport in a kilt with no underware. It is truly shameful we have to resort to writing decency rules.
Ray_Freyer
Not applicable
Really, what a waste of time and resources! I used to have a very favorable opinion of SWA, but no longer. They used to be the airline with a sense of humor?? WTF? Ever watch "AIrline"? They routinely deny boarding to persons they "in their opinion" appear to have had too much alcohol. Maybe that's a good thing, but before I fly, I'm nervous, and have a few drinks. That doesn't make me unruly, it makes me able to get on the plane...but there are those who get out of hand with too much booze. However, this girl wasn't drunk, and her outfit isn't anything we don't see on a daily basis! Get over yourselves, and concentrate on real threats like Islamic terrorists and checking the cargo that could blow up the plane!!
limeminer
Not applicable
ya know. Its Southwest's airline.. they can do what they want, as long as they dont break any laws or endanger customers or employees. Seems like we all forget about that. Somehow, individuals can do what ever they want and then when someone else in a position of power calls them on it, they get their feelings hurt and then file a lawsuit. its pathetic. remember when america was great? no wonder we are going down the tubes. I luv southwest and I respect their right to to do wht they did. suck it up people. no harm done. Do you actually think this woman is scarred or damged from this??? She's a Hooters waitress for crying out loud! lemme get my next "A" boarding pass and sit in the exit row!!!!
Chris28
Not applicable
Great Job Southwest! I cannot tell you how pleased I am with your decision to ask the young exhibitionist to cover up a little. It is so sad that the poor SW employee was put in the position to have to say something. Not all of the public is out to get a peep show when we hop on a flight, if we were all did Hooters airline would have faired better. Thank again for stepping up, I hope this causes you to put it in writing for those whom actually have no decency, or a parent to teach them some, it might help to have some guidelines.