An airline has apologised to a 21-year-old woman who alleged that she was directed to put on more clothes or risk being offloaded for wearing “inappropriate” attire, CNN reported on Wednesday.
British resident Emily O’Connor, travelling on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight from Birmingham to Tenerife in the Canary Islands on March 2, posted a series of tweets in which she said the cabin crew had threatened to remove her from the plane unless she put on a jacket over her crop top. O’Connor said she had worn the outfit at security check and through the airport and had not been asked to “cover up”.
“Flying from Birmingham to Tenerife, Thomas Cook told me that they were going to remove me from the flight if I didn’t ‘cover up’ as I was ‘causing offence’ and was ‘inappropriate,’” she wrote on Twitter. “They had four flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane.”
O’Connor said she even asked fellow passengers if they found the outfit offensive, but no one responded. “To top it off they allowed a man hurl abuse at me whilst the flight manager and four air staff stood and said nothing,” she said, adding the manager then went to get her bag to offload her.
“I was given a jacket by my cousin sitting at the front of the plane and they did not leave until I physically put it on,” O’Connor added. “They made comments over the speaker about the situation and left me shaking and upset on my own.”
In a statement, Thomas Cook Airlines said it has apologised to O’Connor. The airline’s cabin services director had spoken to her “to find out more information” about the incident, it added.
“We are sorry that we upset Ms O’Connor,” said the statement. “It’s clear we could have handled the situation better.”
The airline said as per its clothing policy, customers wearing “inappropriate attire [including items with offensive slogans or images] will not be permitted to travel unless a change of clothes is possible”. The policy is applicable to men and women of all ages, it said, adding that airline crews face the “difficult task of implementing that policy and don’t always get it right”.