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Southwest Airlines Community

A Different Perspective

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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
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I would like to first of all thank you for standing up for a family "safe place" It is something you can't expect from many places now. I do believe though that it shouldn't be up to each employees own discretion, but rather if you are going to restrict certain clothes, you should make a 'dress code' to be followed at all times, not just random cases. Thanks again for what you have done! I believe it was the right thing.
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HELLO People she was not kicked off, bumped off, escorted off the flight she was asked to cover up a little! SHE is the one that asked for the blanket, her choice. If she was so embarrassed by the few people whom figured out what was going on why is she on EVERY news program???? Because SW called them? I think not!! It's because she wants SWA to buy her a new wardrobe, that's why! (I hope they get her a longer skirt.) She is just desperate for attention and wants her 15 minutes of fame, next week she will be clubbing with Paris!
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Issues come down to this... - I applaud Southwest for being a company standing for common decency. The TV coverage as noted above, confirms that this woman was not properly dressed for public (maybe her job at Hooters, but not public) - The comments saying there is nothing wrong with her attire, shows how far this culture has slipped into the gutter. Guys, reserve your eyes for your wife, not a woman who knows how to get attention. Ladies, supporting this just gets women more disrespect. - Show me a business that will allow you to do what ever you wish, and I will show you a business that is located in the 'red-light' district (even those have laws they have to abide by) - We need more places that respect common decency. Heck, one can't even take your children to Disneyland any more without some alternative lifestyle being stuffed down your throats. - Most people that think this attire is proper are getting a steady dose of TV/Media that has just decensitized you all. Again, THANK YOU Southwest, for being a company that I can do business with while with my family! I have been and will continue to be a loyal customer.
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Dear Southwest, My comments are addressed specifically to you. No one else. Please remember that for every "customer" that claims they will "never fly you again" there will be one that will begin to fly with you because you had the decency and courage to do what every corporate culture needs--enforce a standard. You did the right thing and you can expect almost no one on these types of blogs to support you. But that's OK. You don't work to please them. You work to please your shareholders. And your shareholders are very, very pleased with you tonight. Please take my word for it. We appreciate the fact that you are not vehemently defending yourself publicly for that would be unnecessarily silly. A defense of decency and standards is not needed among decent people. Congratulations for taking a step to protect my children...and my airline.
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This is the second comment I've posted on this topic as you didn't post my first comment. One thing that I've noticed while scrolling through the many messages posted by justifiably outraged Americans who place great value on the freedom that we're given to dress as we please, is that you are moderating this blog IN YOUR FAVOR!!! Not fair!! Halfway through the blog, the number of messages that had been running consistently against Southwest's regulating of morality, all of a sudden dropped off and more and more messages started appearing that supported your policy. It was as if Karl Rove made a phone call to your C.E.O.! Is it true? If you want to stay in business, let the people speak and then issue a sincere apology! Kim Wells
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According to Google's cached data, this lady's MySpace page listed Hugh Heffner (sic) at the front of the list of people she'd like to meet !!!!! Milking this event for all the publicity possible would almost certainly improve her chances of realizing that dream and more. Therefore one would be wise to reserve judgment rather than treat her account of events as gospel without hearing what the front-line employees have to say. Southwest, it's time to tell us what your front-line employees know. This lady has IMHO waived any reasonable claim to privacy to the extent that her story incorrectly maligns Southwest. I'm just a customer, but IMHO failing to defend your front-line employees robustly in the court of public opinion is a disservice to ALL of your fine employees. You claim to put employees first. Now is the time to show that you mean it.
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To the one who thinks a person should be able to wear anything they feel comfortable in as a matter of freedom of expression... If I feel comfortable wearing a thong and a barely there swimsuit top onto an airplane, would that not be indecent? There is a line that ought not to be crossed. Apparently to some on this blog, it's anything goes. Those who are so quick to point out their disdain for Christians and families who care if their sons and daughters are morally assaulted by scantily clad women (everywhere, certainly not a problem exclusive to air travel), your moral decision to defend a woman dressed indecently infringes upon the morals of those who disagree. So for Southwest to err on the side of upholding moral decency, kudos! Let's remember, a private business has the right to refuse service to ANYONE and the right to ask you to put on a t-shirt, wear shoes, etc. It's certainly not discrimination, persecution or a violation of civil rights to ask a young woman wearing a micro-mini that shows her underwear (or worse, a lack thereof) to cover-up!
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The treatment of the customer by SW is unacceptable, abusive and degrading; her outfit was, albeit liberal, but certainly not inappropriate to warrant this humiliation. Since when do the airlines and single conservative customer determine the dress code? AS evident by the reactions here, SW clearly overstepped the appropriate boundaries and insulted their customer. This is outrageous.
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SWA has certainly lost me as a customer! if you want to kow tow to the moslems (or whatever nut-case complained about this girl) go live in Iran. Hope ya like burkas! tjb
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I've been a loyal Southwest customer for over 15years and it's time to change airlines. For the most part the collection of nerds....er.... I mean flight attendents and their cornball jokes are easy to tune out. The problems started about 3 or 4 flights ago and has continued on each flight since; the flight attendents are counting the number of drinks that I have and they make a point of commenting on after my second drink by saying something like "you've had two already" . Now the airline has the gall to single out a young lady for the way she is dressed and remove her from the plane. I hope she sucessfully sues southwest out of business.
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I absolutely can not believe the way your female passenger was treated. That is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, there are no airline dresscodes, and if there were, I believe you would often find teenage male passengers in violation, yet we don't have reports of them being escorted off of a plane and publicly humiliated. The real problem is that the female was extremely good looking and it is the insecurities of others that should have been addressed. I would 100 times rather sit beside her than anyone else I have ever been stuck beside. Being a young female passenger myself, I will make it a point to never fly southwest, for business or pleasure. It is disappointing that a corporation of such size and diversity can not recognize such an obvious mistake and issue a public apology in lieu of her public humiliation.
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I am often offended by the slogans and pictures on t-shirts of male passengers but have yet to witness anything of this degree happening to them. what is the difference in this situation? i think she was treated very unfairly. I am also tired of seeing passengers "sagging" their pants so low that their underwear hangs out. Again, i have yet to see them asked to change their attire. I don't agree with the actions southwest took. I don't find her outfit offensive at all.
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I hope this young woman sues you. Public humiliation is not tolerated well. Maybe your airline should pass out garbage bags for each person to wear during their flight so no one is offended. So if I am offended by the muslims for wearing their turbins or females their headwraps I could have them publicly humialited because it was offensive to me? Yeah, that is about how much sense this situation makes. Shame on your airline Southwest!!!
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Shame on Southwest. You owe this girl, your customer, an appology. Everything was covered. She need not appologize to anyone for having an attractive figure. Yes, I do believe there should be some criteria that give you the right to refuse service.....such as health and safety considerations. But if you find it acceptable to consider this girl offensive, then we are all subject to similar criticism and discrimination. Perhaps if you focused on what really matters, you might have a better on-time record.
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We air travelers jump through enough hoops during our flying odyssey. We have to deal with terror threat levels, TSA, and late or cancelled flights. Give us a break. Don't turn into the morality police. If she made it off the street and wasn't arrested, seems like that passes the litmus test for me. What is Southwest doing, outsourcing to the Taliban or some extreme right wing Christian group? I've seen worse on flights. I sure the young woman wasn't doing any Shakira moves on the plane. I am much more offended by some squalling baby or someones brat kicking the back of my seat. Maybe you should promote yourselves as the "family only airline" so the rest of us can fly another carrier in peace!!! Southwest should worry about bigger issues.
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You blew it. She's gonna sue and you deserve it. I for one will NOT fly on your airline until you offer her an apology. The statement your company released is self serving, and falls just short of insulting. You've already lost in the court of public opinion. Apologize NOW... before you do any more damage to your company!!!
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Whauw.... America. 2007. Killing civilians in Irag. Locking people up in Abu Ghraib without a trial. And worried about a womans naked legs. Why would anyone worry about the future of the US?
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This is all news to me. I was not aware. When did Southwest start flying out of Tehran?
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For all those people that dont have kids you need to get a life , and for all you people that like to complain about all this petty crap just shut up !!!! and get over it stop waisting your time on this blob.
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Thanks Southwest Airlines for keeping your planes family friendly. When my mother had a restaurant she always enforced a dress and behaviour code. I still laugh about the time she hung a shirt over the back of a chair to hide a large motorcyclist posterior which showed when he sat down. She welcomed anyone as long as they behaved.
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By the way, under what legal theory would this young lady sue under? She doesn't stand a chance in court.
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Let's use a little common sense here. I seriously doubt the FA was the one who talked to the woman, or even made the final decision to talk to her. That would be the responsibility of the Customer Service Agent or Supervisor. FAs and CSAs see lots of cleavage and short skirts, so there had to have been something "different" about this case to make it worthy of any attention at all. What could have been different about this situation ... come on now ... you already know deep-down what it is, and most of you are ignoring it because it does not fit your bias in the situation.
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In reference to your Kyla Ebbert fiasco, is your airline operated by a bunch of fat jealous old women? Was she wearing panties, yes. Showing ariola, no. Was she HOT, yes. Send the old bags home and get some real management, not Keith. This is 2007.
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My choice? Any airline except SWA. I choose what to wear not SWA.
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You keep the your clothes police and I will keep my money. Plenty of other airlines to choose from.
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First, I want to commend Southwest for posting about this situation and letting all of us post our comments, good and bad. I don't know a lot of companies who would allow this kind of dialog on an official company blog. Second, do I think the flight attendant went too far? Yes. I've seen people wearing much worse on flights. But that's the problem with rules about "approrpriate" dress. It can be way too subjective and interpreted hundreds of different ways, which causes problems with consistency of policy. I wouldn't have had a problem with the outfit, but maybe my mother would have. Third, was her treatment horrible enough for me to say I'll never fly Southwest again? Certainly not. They get me from point A to point B pretty much on time and at a great fare, especially if I've snagged a DING! fare. And I have to question what Miss Ebbert's untimate goal is. I mean, why did she feel the need to go on the Today Show -- with a lawyer? Is this really such an egregious error on Southwest's part that deserves legal action? I think not. She's had her 15 minutes of fame -- it's time to move on.
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Some prude did the wrong thing. I will not fly your airline in the future. How dare you humiliate this young woman! Your airline sucks...
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bad airline
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let me take a wild guess...the flight ttendant that confronted this young lady was a female? do i smell jealously.the next time i have to fly youre slackass airline,or anyone that cares about our freedoms ,isuggest we do this.any flight attendant you feel is ugly ,obnoxiuos ,rude or just youre usual i dont care...complain to the captain and have her covered up....what is the difference
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I cannot believe the NAZI tactics your employees use...they have power so they ABUSE it! I will never fly Southwest again!
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GO!! South West.. Right On with these skimpee so called mini Yea Right There is a place for for that kind of dress.You all got mad a paris hillton For showing he goodies Now look at what she was wareing..If in fact she works for Hooters then Why was she on SouthWest?She knew what would happen ...And you all gave her what she wanted.."the spotlie " SouthWest Should post Something On its dress code. The airline has the right to do this....Nice job,SW.
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I was outraged to read about SouthwestÃ
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I saw what that young woman was wearing. There was nothing inappropriate about it. The only inappropriate conduct was on the part of Southwest. I'll never let my daughter or wife travel on Southwest. The employee who attempted to humiliate Southwest's paying customer should be terminated, the company should make a public apology to the young woman, and, quite frankly, should compensate her for this debacle. It really is outrageous.
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How humiliating for that young woman. And to be lectured to on top of it, unforgiveable. I hope to God you have the good sense to fire at least the arrogant nit-wit that felt it necessary to deliver that last indignity. I'm going pray tonight that I find myself on that jury so that your apology can be delivered in VERY expensive terms.
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SWA should be commended for what they did. If you want to expose yourself, go pose for Playboy. Why do women think it is OK to dress like hookers? She, and her family, should be embarrassed instead of getting on TV. At least "act" like you have some class.
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I agree with the rest of the world-- this CSR's actions were unjustified. I would recommend that Southwest be very careful about who they hire in the future.
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I'm glad that this Airline stepped up to the plate and made the "girl" cover her body.I mean come on !!! Its ok for her to dress that way at her work "Hooters" but not in the public. Not everyone wants to see half naked women running around. Obviously this women was exposing herself to the point where they felt it was indecent. I personal think she should be charged with "Indecent exposure " (meaning of indecent= "not proper,in bad taste, not modest 'unfit to be seen,obsene.") Think of the small children that were in that airport or on that flight. I as a parent think that Southwest did the appropiate thing. I also think that women in todays society need to be more aware of how they dress and present themselves to our youth. Even if you dont have children! I wish more people would step up to the plate and not encourage our young girls to dress and act like Tramps. I THINK SOUTHWEST WAS JUSTIFED FOR THERE ACTIONS !!!!!!!!! I APPLAUD YOU SOUTHWEST AIRLINE.
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Good for Southwest Airlines for taking a stand. It's obvious the pictures the media is of Kyla "now" are after she re-dressed herself. Her skirt is the kind that one can "adjust the length" and the pictures are after she covered her cleavage. This is a public decency matter and no other paying customers should have to be embarressed by this woman revealing her private parts - or even giving a sneak peak. She should know better and it's her fault for not using good decision in the first place. Good for you Southwest Airlines!!!
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Is Southwest now the religious patrol, a la Iran? Having flown your airline I have seen all types of dress including some unwashed shirts by your counter employees. What is next, removal of Muslims or Jews due to inappropriate head dress? Why doesnÃ
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I hope you get sued. This is ridiculous. She was covering everything necessary. Thanks Southwest, now you have definitely made up my mind to not fly your airline ever again.......There are greater concerns in this world, that someone dressed with a short skirt. I believe she is owed an apology and the holier than thou person that made the decision to give her a sermon on proper attire, should be FIRED. How dare they judge someone other than themselves....
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Wow, I'm shocked and disgusted by SWA's behavior. I have always liked this airline, but I have to say that I now look at them in an entirely different way; a very negative way, indeed.
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I personally see nothing wrong with her outfit. SWA needs to pay more attention to lost luggage instead of girls mini-skirts. I will be switching to AA for all my future business and personal flights. As will all my employees. SWA should take notice, the people commenting on here are a very small percentage. Imagine how much business you are losing over your stance on this matter.
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I am disgusted with the Airline industry trying to police everything. Now you go and start enforcing a Public dress code that doesn't even exist!!! No way would I consider air travel on this airline. Here is a thought, Instead of worrying about what clothes we are wearing, try to get the flight off at the time you posted for it. Basically do the job you are supposed to be doing.
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I think, maybe, if I had started to listen to that personal lecture on morality from that self-righteous flight attendant I would have slapped her silly, if I was female, or punched him in the face, hard, if male, as I am. It probably would have got me arrested on an assault charge, and I think it would have been worth it. Of course, I will never, unless I have absolutely no choice at all, fly Southwest ever again. I saw the pic of the young lady - she was stylishly dressed for a summer day. Her clothing was legal on the street at the point of departure and at the point of landing. Where, how, on what basis do you or your employees suddenly become morals police and fashion critics? I heard on TV show a lawyer say that he thought Southwest was way out-of-line and wrong, but gave it as his legal opinion a lawsuit would not succeed. That really is too bad. The only thing that will make a real impact is to successfully sue Southwest, and the employee personally, and the "old lady", whomever it was, who complained - again personal lawsuit. I cannot understand why she can't sue for humiliation and so on. I hope Southwest loses millions in lost customers. What is more, if you are such an all-fired "family values" airline, whatever the heck that actually means, then say so - label yourselves as such, and tell all customers they must pass a "proper attire, dress code" inspection before boarding. The employee thing is more difficult. On the one hand, he or she should be fired. On the other hand, wrong as wrong can be, I can see why you might want to stand behind the employee. I hope it costs you, heavily, to do so.
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CONGRATULATIONS Southwest for kicking Kyla Ebbert off the plane! What I find so extraordinary is the number of people who defend her dress! This in-your-face-if-you-don't-like-it-that's-your-problem attitude people have today from dress (or lack of it) to cell phones to loud music is representative of a far more serious problem with this country today. Have some self respect, people. If you want to look like a whore or a Bosnian refugee in shredded clothes or a parolee in tattoos, that's your right, but don't ask the rest of us to sit next to you. Keep up your standards, Southwest! There are millions of us who agree with you.
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What is proper attire for Southwest Airlines, a burka? Are we now to have the "morality police" doing the rounds?
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I want to applaud Southwest Airlines for asking this exibitionist girt to cover up her exposed flesh. She even flashed her panties on the Today show. Her skirt was way too short and who knows if she was even wearing underpants. Again, SWA, I applaud you.
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I have no idea what the employees at Southwest were thinking... What is next? Southwest issuing each of the passengers a uniform? Southwest should fire the employee or employees responsible for making such a ridiculous decision... That might be an appropriate response. Obviously those employees cannot be trusted to be thinking clearly.
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The arrogance of this corporate airline is too much to believe. Well at least it is one less choice I have to make when booking to fly. You people really need to issue the, "what in the world were we thinking statement!" I would tell that poor young lady you are sorry real quick like.
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Many shorter skirts may reveal a "croch shot" if one is sitting on a chair with a camera aimed at around knee level! She was in a plane seat, for heaven's sake! To get a crotch shot one would need to bend over and walk toward her on the aisle with eyes around 3-4 feet over the floor, assuming she was in an aisle seat! Good heavens! If the clothing is street legal, then the airline, as such, can have and should have no comment. I hope she sues them for their back teeth!