Ugh, JetBlue Made A Woman Change Her Outfit Before Boarding A Flight

Last week, a Facebook status update alleging that JetBlue employees had forced a female passenger to change her outfit before she could board a flight went viral. Today, the airline has apologized — but is it enough?
It all started on May 18, when a Seattle-based burlesque dancer who goes by the stage name Maggie McMuffin arrived at the airport in Boston to catch a flight back to Seattle. ABC News reports that Maggie was waiting to board at her gate when a crew member informed her that her outfit — a sweater, striped daisy dukes, and thigh-high tights — was inappropriate, and insisted that she would have to change before getting on the plane because her look "may offend other families."
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Per Fox News, Maggie explained that she didn't have anything else with her, and offered to either tie her sweatshirt around her waist, or cover up with an airplane blanket. The crew member countered by suggesting that she buy new clothes at an airport kiosk. Maggie complied, buying a $22 pair of pajama bottoms at a nearby store. She was subsequently permitted to board.
You might expect that JetBlue would have fallen all over itself to apologize and make this right once it heard about the incident. Instead, it issued this statement to ABC News today, two weeks after the event: "We support our crew members’ discretion to make these difficult decisions, and we decided to reimburse the customer for the cost of the new shorts and offered a [$162] credit for future flight as a goodwill gesture."
That sounds like more of a lukewarm acknowledgment than a heartfelt apology, no?
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Maggie's choice in clothes is precisely that — her choice. She wasn't trying to board the plane in the nude; she was simply wearing something more revealing than what someone else might choose to wear. And that's her prerogative. If it's okay for JetBlue to bar her from flying, where does that end? Who decides what constitutes "appropriate" when it comes to the length of a woman's shorts? Unless the airline has an official passenger dress code — one that is clearly outlined, distributed to all customers, and enforced universally on all flights without regard for gender — it's hard not to view this as an arbitrary act of slut-shaming at best, and outright discrimination at worst.
We're disappointed in you, JetBlue. It's the year 2016 — let's act like it.
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