Southwest Won’t Let Young Girl Fly, Yells ‘Your Boobs Are Hanging Out’

Southwest Airlines has deemed another passenger too sexy to fly. And when they object to the attire of a 19 year old girl, with an employee reportedly yelling at them “your boobs are hanging out” is it the airline that’s sexualizing the situation?

Southwest Airlines kicked a Playboy Playmate off one of its flights because of her attire, too. This from an airline whose flight attendants used to wear hot pants, its automated ticketing machines were called “Quickies” and snacks were “Love Bites.”

Southwest is known to be strict about dress, from Kyla Ebbert dubbed ‘too sexy to fly’ in 2007 to Kayla Eubanks in a low cut black halter top in 2020. They’ve even poked fun at themselves over it with a fare sale based on the publicity,

Southwest Airlines today faces the bare facts and reveals the naked truth by issuing an apology to its Customers who have commented about its handling of a few who were dressed in revealing clothing. …Southwest has lowered its already skimpy fares to “mini-skirt” size of $49 to $109 one-way.

“Some have said we’ve gone from loving hot pants to having hot flashes but nothing could be farther from the truth, “said Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly. “The publicity caught us with our pants down, quite frankly. The story has such great legs, but we have an even better sense of humor, so we’re going to jump out there and lower our fares to match the mini skirts we’ve all been hearing so much about.”

Southwest plasters Israeli model Bar Refaeli in a bikini on the side of one of their 737s, which I take as prima facie evidence that the attire in question doesn’t violate Southwest’s standards of what’s appropriate to fly. Indeed, poor taste alone hasn’t stopped anyone from flying since deregulation.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As a happily married heterosexual male, I can verify that her boobs are not hanging out — at least in that picture. Southwest Airlines should provide additional photographic evidence to support their case.

  2. Headline and lede dont match up here. “Your boobs are hanging out” is just a blunt, NY-style way of saying your attire is inappropriate. It’s not sexualizing. Dress codes and brand marketing are completely unrelated situations. You don’t get to show up in the nude to work at MindGeek, to give another example.

    Idaho? No, you daho.

  3. While they are certainly not “hanging out”, I personally dont think her attire is appropriate for flying onboard an aircraft. Call me a prude, but I think there should be a certain level of decorum onboard an aircraft. It has become a slippery slope with people wearing revealing clothing, pants down so far underwear is hanging out, offensive writing, or sometimes just in the pajamas. Have a little self respect. I frequently hear people complain how airlines dont treat flyers how they used too, but flyers dont act like they used to either.

  4. I’ve seen worse that went unquestioned. Not to mention, this particular set of boobs aren’t even show stoppers. Maybe an overzealous employee?

  5. Looks like an A cup to me.

    Oh, and Gary, that Southwest marketing with the hot pants, luv bites, etc., was over 40 years ago!

  6. @Fred Garvin, I’m with you on that. Thanks for the thought….

    “I frequently hear people complain how airlines don’t treat flyers as they used to, but flyers don’t behave as they used to, either.”

  7. I guess it’s just me, but I usually fly in casual attire like a cotton “business casual” shirt and jeans for comfort and practicality*. Then again, I spent 25 years in the industry and I want to be able to get out safely in an emergency… Cotton fabric doesn’t melt in a post-accident fire. Just sayin’.

    *Taught my kids the same thing, incidentally.

  8. I’m absolutely and thoroughly appalled at how this person was treated, and any behavior like this is completely unacceptable.

    However, to make a complete and unbiased final decision, I’ll have to see more pictures of the “boobs hanging out”. For science.

  9. Looking for attention. Big deal honey, you got tits. All women do. Some of us guys too.

  10. Just going to hazard a guess that the top is more sheer than she’s letting on. Braless and a thin, sheer top will get you removed from a lot of places. I wouldn’t take that photo at face value, you can do a lot of alterations to make you look more innocent.

  11. I thought C_M was a dumba** based on his support of Mike Tyson’s criminal assault on a JetBlue flight the other week. C_M looks to be correct here, however. Zooming in one can clearly see areola indicating the top is not opaque. The photo tweeted is underexposed and was obviously not from the airport. Absolutely that sort of attire deserves the boot. Disgraceful but what do you expect from a Boise State student.

  12. Nearly fainted when I saw the picture! There’s at least 12% of her boobs showing. Upwards of 10% may be OK for some of the more risqué airlines. But 12%?! Not even Air France would tolerate such decadence.

    Hopefully she gets added to the no fly list immediately.

  13. Why are you calling a 19 year old a young girl? Headline made it sound like they were yelling at a child.

  14. the guys have it…Fred for exactly what my thoughts are and Bill for making some of us think it was a young girl age 12 or 14 at the most. Why can’t we have some standard policies/dress codes for travel that are made clear on websites prior to ticketing to inform the clueless, ignorant and those with a lack of a class or taste on how you dress for public transportation. ANd for those incapable, why not provide an option like a cheap jacket for boarding and inflight and take it back after landing. For all clothing that is inappropriate, but it must be CLEAR as to what that no pun intended covers: bare skin, cleavage, offensive language, political messages. Free speech and free dress style allowed but NOT on the aircraft. And bTW, also accurate in re to cotton clothing being more protective in event of accident from what I’ve heard. As for my attire, on the rare occasions I fly, I have comfortable clothing. OF late discovered a great company called Soft Serve with lounge wear sets that I have felt comfortable enough about wearing out and about for errands and would not have a problem wearing on the plane.

  15. Robin… the rare occasions you fly? Interesting to see you on this travel blog. Akin to me commenting on an Epicurious recipe saying what I do on the rare occasions I cook…

    Anyway, I shoot down your idea of adding the policy to the web – not everybody books their tickets the same way – and we are bombarded with policy messages as is. Leave the critical messages up and do away with the rest to avoid distractions. I do like your idea of equipping every gate agent with a spare light jacket that can be given at the agent’s discretion to somebody with offensive attire. I disagree that we can define clearly what offensive attire looks like, and I disagree that political messages should be banned. Airlines themselves hand out Black Lives Matter pins, to some that is not a political message but to many it is, either way it should not be banned or you’re generating added controversy.


  16. Gary, serious question? What is this “sexualizing the situation?”
    Uh, she is the one “sexualizing” the situation with the bare stomach and low cut top (ironically with breasts too small to matter). She seems to be dressing to attract male (or female) attention but when others call her out it’s them who are “sexualizing the situation?”
    Other commentors, please feel free to explain this to me but please withhold your insults as it’s counterproductive to your argument. I’m old, clueless in this strange new cultural world where suddenly sex doesn’t/shouldn’t exist except when it should. Thanks!

  17. I thought ayenus was a dumb%%s
    based on all his previous postings but dang, ayenus just posted good stuff!
    Good work ayenus!

    Oh, and thanks (NOT) for coming up with a screen name spell check hates! Too scared to use your real name?

  18. Um, JorgeGeorge, I think you may have been right the first time about ayenus, or has he/she changed his/her name to Penis now? It appears that way in response to my post, but I agree, the individual has made some relevant points. To that end Ayenus, let me explain:
    I enjoy flying but am a social worker recently retired. No expense account or big budget to afford travel and in fact because I prefer to travel with my canine companion, we typically drive of late. I also am somewhat grounded being the only relative to care for my elder parents. My mother is approaching 100 years of age, has dementia, is bedbound and receiving hospice care at home. My father will be 105 in less than a week. Not that you asked for any explanation or deserve one. I do have stock in an airline and so I follow with interest this blog to see what’s up (or in this case exposed) and learn what others think. It was not my intent to post a suggestion that would further complicate policies and such…but clearly it is only fair someone knows the rules of this game as far as dress standards in order to not violate them. So how else would you suggest it be handled? Society / some young adults have clearly not been raised to comprehend acceptable standards for public decency so they must be told/taught it seems as to what is respectful/in good taste…but this flies (pun intended) against as you pointed out, individual interpretations of what is in good taste/appropriate for flying or public transportation, not to mention freedom of expression to wear a statement of political or other expression. People dressing this way or wearing expressive statements I think know darn well what they are doing and perhaps even look forward to seeing what controversy they can engender. I do agree that defining “offensive attire” is a challenge. Especially if one does not want to offend a paying passenger. At the same time as has been mentioned I believe, we have workplaces with certain requirements in place as well as other public places (i.e. restaurants) where one is told on the front door about what is required (i.e. shoes, shirt). Boiled down I wonder if this goes toward a lack of respect for self or is it toward others? Either way, I think I’m happy wearing what I choose to, not creating a problem for myself or others and traveling with my canine if and when I am able. WHich raises an additional point: When traveling with canine, we are typically confronted with numerous rules and we manage to adhere to these policies. Out of respect, and wanting to be sure we can return again. But then that is how I was raised.

  19. Looks like you weren’t raised to be humble, Robin. Hope you enjoy diddling your own sand filled vagina.

  20. She’s not a “young girl” and she should wear a shirt to fly. There is nothing in the Constitution that says you can wear whatever you want on an airplane.

  21. Dear Admin, per comment by Jay Gee above, and the comment back to me from Ayenus, I would suggest you use your powers to be rid of him from this site. I think he is crude and inapproprIate. Nobody tunes in here for that.

  22. Robin: even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. I agree, ayenus last comment was way out of bounds and tacky. It wouldn’t surprise me if ayenus was a Russian or Chinese bot. Cultural norms are lost on bots. As hard as it is, bots should be ignored…..

  23. thanks JorgeGeorge, appreciate your words and info. Had not given thought to it being a foreign bot. INteresting and shall heed your advice. If Gary does not heed my suggestion I will wish you and the others a bon voyage as I will get my info elsewhere and unsubscribe. I doubt anyone tunes in to read the garbage coming out of ayenus.

  24. You are most welcome Robin but please note that those bots are everywhere. Russia and China want the U.S. to fail and sowing discontent on the Internet is one way. Use the other golden rule: don’t feed the trolls.
    Happy trails and good luck!

  25. Now you have me wondering…maybe those who have been bonvoyed it’s a bot!
    In any case thanks for your words to the now wiser….here’s to happy trails and trolls in the food lines….

  26. Those hot pants and go go boots look adorable. I remember when that was a bit shocking, but the uniforms refreshingly cover everything that should be covered. Notice there were no male flight attendants. And clearly, they all met a weight standard.

    Can’t imagine going on a flight in pajamas, not even as a two year old. What must that be like when you land? It feels like one of those bad dreams where you get locked out of your hotel room in the nude. “I landed in Paris in my BVDs.” Yikes.

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