After Barring Girls for Leggings, United Airlines Defends Decision

Ms. Watts said the girl’s mother told her the two teenagers had just been turned away because the gate agent said their pants were not appropriate travel attire. The woman had a dress in her carry-on bag that the child was able to pull on over her pants, and the family boarded the flight.

“The girl pulled a dress on,” Ms. Watts said. “But please keep in mind that the dad had on shorts that did not hit his knee — they stopped maybe two or three inches above his knee — and there was no issue with that.”

Ms. Watts judged that the two girls who were barred from boarding were in their “young teens” and the girl who changed into a dress was 10 or 11.

Ms. Watts described the situation in a series of tweets before her flight to Mexico took off. By the time she landed her tweets had been shared widely, often accompanied by sharp criticism directed at the airline.

Jonathan Guerin, a…

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