Airlines Ban Passengers For Inappropriate Clothing
Are airlines representatives and flight attendants permitted to kick passengers off for wearing inappropriate clothing?
The debate as to whether the First Amendment applies to airline wear came into much heat when two cases of fashion “faux pas” occurred earlier this spring. In one case, a woman was barred from a Southwest Airline flight for showing too much cleavage. Another woman flying American Airlines was forced by the pilot to drape a shawl over her T-shirt that bore a four-letter expletive.
The controversy continued last week, when a man was barred from a Delta Airlines flight because he wore a shirt that read “Terrists gonna kill us call,” the misspelling of which was intentional and meant to satirize federal security agents.
Airlines do not publish dress codes, which make the boundaries of airline clothing extremely unclear to both the passengers and individual airline employees. There are no structured rules prohibiting too-short pant inseams and too-low hemlines, or racial slurs and political bashing on shirts. Passengers can technically wear whatever they please, even if it goes to the extremes.
It is ultimately up to the discretion of airline workers to determine the appropriateness of each passenger. The main goal of airlines is to promote safety, so anything that may incite an argument or riot in any way is promptly discouraged.