When you’re flying a European holiday airline, you’re likely if passengers are wearing any clothing at all. And if the budget carrier is flying between the UK and the south of Spain it’s a miracle if they’re sober enough to make it to their seats unassisted.
So the biggest news in a woman being booted off an easyJet flight from Malaga to London Stansted on June 23 was that she still had on her top at all.
— Networkofnews UK (@NetworkofnewsUK) June 29, 2019
The airline claims Harriet Osborne was being ‘disruptive’, that her “top was sheer and her nipples were clearly visible” — they offered her “an additional top to wear” and shockingly didn’t even charge an add-on fee to do so. However she lashed out at crewmembers over the incident.
According to the airline,
Following concerns about her clothing, crew politely requested that the customer wear an additional top for the flight which the customer agreed to. However, she then proceeded to act disruptively towards a member of our crew.
For her part Ms. Osborne says she was wearing “nipple covers and tape” so you really couldn’t see anything.
She was questioned by Spanish police and ultimately paid $188 for another flight the next day. She and her traveling companion spent the night in the airport.
When I fly to holiday destinations I’m often surprised by what other passengers wear. They may board in Chicago or Dallas but they’re already dressed for the Islands. That’s even true flying into conservative countries like the Maldives. While most anything goes at resorts, it’s still an Islamic society, so women arriving in short shorts and revealing tops surprises me.
While this story happened with a UK airline, Southwest Airlines famously kicked 23 year old Kyla Ebbert off a flight over her short skirt, which struck me as ironic considering the original Southwest Airlines uniform.
When I was young my mother used to make me dress up to fly. It was just after deregulation and I wore a tie on the plane when I was 6 or 8 years old. Social norms have changed a great deal, broadly-written policies leave much to interpretation, and individual crew members may come at things with their own view — so policies vary flight-to-flight. I was tempted to suggest the only safe attire would be a burqa, but flying while appearing to be Muslim isn’t likely to reduce the chances of an encounter with authorities.