Or at least told to cover up. But what do you think?
The Turkish-American bodybuilder was barred from boarding an American Airlines flight to Miami just last week. The rules of the airline state: “Dress appropriately, bare feet and offensive clothing are not allowed.” Saypinar claimed flight crew said her clothing disturbed other families at the airport.
On a Jetstar flight in February, the OnlyFans creator says she was told ‘you can’t wear a bikini’ – referring to her black crop top and given a hi-vis vest to put over the top of it. The airline subsequently apologised for the way the incident was handled but only after Eleanore documented it on social media.
The combination of crop-top and high-waisted pants O’Connor wore on a flight from Birmingham to Tenerife in 2019 was deemed unacceptable by Thomas Cook airline staff. She was told the look was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘causing offence’. Just like Jetstar, the airline apologised for its handling of the matter after it blew up on social media.
Hopping aboard a Virgin Australia flight from Adelaide in February, the then 23-year-old was pulled up on account of her mid-riff halter neck top. She says staff told her “the pilot doesn’t like people showing too much skin” and was allowed to proceed after putting on a jacket.
Returning from Malaga to the UK on Easyjet, the mum of two was denied boarding on account of this partially see-through black top. She stressed that although braless, she had nipple covers on and tape holding the garment in place.
Southwest Airlines had a problem with Eubanks’ top in October last year. She says she was told her breasts were “lewd, obscene and offensive”. A compromise was reached after the pilot loaned her one of his shirts.
The American physician was only allowed to board her 2019 flight from Kingston to Miami if she wrapped herself in a blanket to make her way to her seat.
Eve J Marie
The 26-year-old Influencer/Playboy model and this low-cut leopard-print top caused quite the kerfuffle on Southwest Airlines flight in November last year. Marie says that she had to borrow a jacket from a flight attendant before being allowed to travel but subsequently received an apology and $100 credit from the airline.
What are the rules about clothing on flights?
Whenever you buy a ticket, you enter into something called a contract of carriage with an airline. It is the smallest of small print and covers everything from refunds to behaviour rules in the air to showing up on time and so on.
To save you the time and eye-glazing boredom, we scanned the contract of carriage for both Qantas and Virgin Australia to see whether there was any mention of clothing rules. There is not.
Perhaps, we thought, it might be in the remit of the Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. Nada.
Maybe the International Air Transport Association, which sets the standards for safety and security across the aviation industry then? Diddly. The only things that are covered by some airlines are offensive slogans or swear words on clothing.
It therefore falls to staff onboard and at the gates to police the always vague business of community standards. We don’t envy them and are by no means having a go.
The exponential drop in costs over the past decades to fly both locally and internationally has been a boon to travellers, but has also altered the nature of the transaction. Planes are, for all intents and purposes, now flying buses. Commuter services for all but the wealthiest. As a result, many of wear exactly what we would on the bus.
Which given the current zeitgeist of Instagram deluge, activewear everywhere and body positivity can involve outfits once reserved for the beach, the gym or da club.
The problem arises, however, we said ensembles make their way down the gangway and onto a plane. You see, airlines have an unofficial dress code designed to ensure that all their passengers travel comfortably. Which often translates to not seeing more of a stranger’s body than you might like.
But this is where things take a turn for the subjective. Aside from everything else they have to do to get us safely and happily from one city to another, they are duty bound to investigate (and perhaps then act) on reports of attire that some passengers may find confronting, others are utterly ambivalent about and the wearers are simply comfortable in.
It should also be pointed out that blokes too – many blokes – have been in similar situations, but they tend to be excused their tiny footy shorts or fall into offensively sloganed t-shirt that they think is just a bit of fun. As ever, it’s not their bodies being policed, but that of women.