What’s going on with Southwest Airlines? Surely with all the negative media coverage the airline’s flight attendants should know better than to impose any kind of dress code — not with the very real potential for lawsuits these days.
Then again, every time a Southwest employee has made a judgment call on a passenger’s duds, the company gets loads of media attention. And all this attention means that Southwest is in the spotlight — never mind why. This attention — and the “specials” that have followed — makes all this clothing-censor business mighty suspicious as far as I’m concerned.
First it was Kyla Ebbert and her teeny-tiny skirt (which appears to be conservative for her, based on her MySpace page photos). This time, the passenger, Joe Winiecki, was a male wearing a “sexually suggestive” t-shirt. Although Winiecki felt that the employee’s request that he change his shirt or leave the plane was a violation of his First Amendment rights, he changed rather than risk missing a day of work. Naturally, a Southwest spokesperson said the employee made a mistake.
I wonder how Southwest will spin this latest incident into a fare special? Last time it was “mini” fares. I’m sure they can find some clever double-entendre in this case as well.
I’ve pretty much had it with the Kyla Ebbert, Southwest Airlines, skimpy skirt story, but a few interesting tidbits surfaced that were too good to pass up. I feel like the TMZ of the travel world, but here it goes — a real piece of journalese….
The geeks (I mean that in the nicest way!) over at Jaunted noticed that while Kyla quickly switched her MySpace profile to private after Skirtgate, Google’s cache of the page remained public. What did they find? Kyla’s airplane clothes may have been provocative, but that’s nothing compared to her “going out”
lingerie clothes (right). To see a, uh, different angle, be sure and check out this image… though it could be not-safe-for-work.
“I can’t imagine what ‘oh seven’ will bring cuz 06 was AMAZING,” she wrote on her Myspace blog in January. I bet she never thought she’d be famous for the reasons she is — that’s for sure.
For some reason, Dr. Phil is blaring in my house and while I’m usually good at tuning his Texas accent out, I find I’m catching bits of the show today. Dr. Phil’s ‘special’ guest is Kyla Ebbert, the girl who was asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight because her outfit was too skimpy. She’s on the show with her lawyer to draw publicity to her unfortunate experience, and after a representative from Southwest Airlines came on the show and apologized, she accepted the apology and insisted she wouldn’t go on any more TV shows to gain publicity.
However, her lawyer would not agree to not sue Southwest Airlines. Huh? Sue? Just what are the damages? Ebbert claims that her publicity-hoarding and lawsuit threats are in an attempt to make sure this kind of embarrassment doesn’t happen to anyone else, and I think it’s a pretty safe bet that it won’t. I’m not a fan of Dr. Phil, but he did put both she and her lawyer in their place so for that I applaud him. .
If you’re flying the “family” airline Southwest, you’d best stick to your Sunday church-going clothes rather than your Saturday night clubbing duds.
Kyla Ebbert found this rule out the hard way: she was asked to leave a flight before it departed because the flight attendants felt her attire was too revealing. Ebbert adjusted her outfit to meet the flight attendants’ standards, and was allowed to stay on board. On her return flight, however, she wore the same outfit — and not only did no one ask her to change, but one flight attendant actually complimented her on it.
Ebbert didn’t disclose how much her outfit revealed, but she acknowledged that it was “sexy,” consisting of a low-cut, tight shirt and a short skirt. Nothing was exposed that shouldn’t have been, she claimed.
Southwest Airlines has no formal dress code, and it’s obvious that Ebbert may sue. What do you think should happen?
Read the full article here.