Forget the outfit, that is not the issue. The real questions is "how was the situation handled?" I'm surprised I haven't seen any discussion on of that.
I'd have to assume that the SWA staff is trained how to handle awkward and challenging situations with customers. Had the steward quietly asked the passenger to the front of the plane and explained the problem out of earshot of other passengers this situation may not have escalated. If it was indeed handled poorly, if the confrontation was public, and if the passenger was truly lectured, then I think it is an example of training that was not properly followed or training that was no tproperly provided. The girl was going to feel a little humiliated, even if she was addressed with respect and understanding, but she would have likely dealt with it and moved on. What upsets people is when they are treated roughly, without respect and compassion.
That is the nut of the issue, and that is what I'd actually be interested in hearing about. The debate about dress code is old and tired, and it is one that will never go away, and no one will ever win or lose the argument.
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