The budget airline has kicked off passengers for wearing saggy pants and crying, developing a reputation as the airline industry’s version of the Soup Nazi
Before you board that Southwest flight, it might be wise to check the depth of of your cleavage, the length of your skirt, and the context of your T-shirt. When passengers are kicked off planes, it’s usually for aggressive or offensive behavior, like being drunk or berating the flight attendant. But Southwest Airlines “has become synonymous with people getting kicked off flights for ridiculous reasons,” picking on passengers with low-hanging pants, exposed cleavage, and politically opinionated T-shirts.
Here, a look at eight cases of passengers who have been escorted off Southwest flights for questionable reasons:
1. Showing too much cleavage
In June, Southwest told a customer wearing a loose cotton dress and an open flannel shirt that her cleavage was “inappropriate.” The customer, a self-described large-chested woman, was told she would be kicked off if she didn’t button up her shirt. She refused, telling Jezebel, “I didn’t want to let the representative’s Big Feelings about my breasts change the way I intended to board my flight.” The airline offered her an apology and a refund, while maintaining that it has the right to boot anyone “whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.”
2. Engaging in girl-on-girl kissing
In 2011, Leisha Hailey, an actress who starred in The L Word, was kicked off a Southwest flight for kissing her girlfriend. She was reportedly told by the flight attendant that Southwest was a “family airline” and that “kissing was not okay.” Southwest later said Hailey’s kissing was excessive, but Hailey responded, “I didn’t realize a small peck on the lips is regarded as excessive.”
3. Being conspicuously Muslim
Irum Abbasi, a headscarf-wearing Muslim, sued Southwest in 2011 after she was kicked off her flight over suspicions that she was a terrorist. A flight attendant thought she heard Abbasi say, “It’s a go” on her cellphone, when in fact Abbasi had said, “I’ve got to go.” Even after she was interviewed by federal security agents, and deemed not to be a threat, she had wait for the next plane because the crew was “uncomfortable” having her onboard.
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