Southwest Airline’s Follow Up With The Woman Wearing An “Offensive” Shirt

by SharonKurheg

You may have read about Kayla Eubanks a while back. She was scheduled to fly from New York to Chicago on Southwest in early October. However she was stopped by the boarding gate staff at LaGuardia because they said her halter top was in breach of the airline’s dress code. Eubanks said the words they used were, “Lewd, obscene and offensive.”

Here’s a picture of her shirt, from her Twitter account:

From Southwest Airlines dress code policy:

“Dress to impress. While Southwest’s dress code is relaxed and casual, you will be expected to present a clean, well groomed, and tasteful appearance.”

The airline was not able to clarify what would be considered a breach of their dress code.

Eubanks, 22, believed she was stopped because the employee and airline were trying to police a woman’s body. From her Facebook:

“I was initially shocked, then I was very annoyed because this is discriminatory. I literally cannot remove these from me, I’m a woman, and they’re mine, I can’t leave them at home, I can’t detach them so for you to tell me that my body part is offensive, I don’t know what you want.”

“I’ve seen men on planes shirtless,” she continued. “I’ve seen them with tank tops where I can see their nipples on the side – not to make it about other people, but I’ve seen a lot of other things on planes.”

And her Twitter:

“How will my shirt impact my flight, for myself, the other passengers or even the pilot? Y’all have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on a plane? It’s the constant policing of women’s bodies for me.”

The Southwest staff held Eubanks at the gate for about a half-hour, finally allowing her to board only after the flight’s captain spoke to her and loaned her a shirt.

Although glad she was eventually allowed onto her flight, she was still not happy with the inconsistencies and vagueness of the dress code, saying:

“It seemed like everything that was going on was based on personal biases, and I just don’t feel like that’s appropriate,” she said. “If there is a policy, then let that be the policy for everyone, every day.”

To their credit, Southwest did apologize, after Eubanks’ videos went viral. Besides the formal apology, they also said in a statement:

“Our Employees are responsible for the well-being and comfort of everyone on board the flight. Southwest has a Customer policy in our  Contract of Carriage that prohibits clothing attire that is ‘lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.’ Our Employees discreetly notified the Passenger of this clothing policy and attempted to resolve the conversation before boarding. She boarded her scheduled flight to Chicago. We also directly reached out to her to refund her fare as a gesture of goodwill.”

However, Eubanks doesn’t think that’s enough. She believes Southwest needs to change its dress code so there’s a specific standard.

“I think they need to update the policy,” she said. “I think it needs to be nondiscriminatory. I think that as a woman, specifically a Black woman, my body is constantly policed and over-sexualized, and that’s not fair to me.”

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Susan Ennis October 29, 2020 - 8:59 am

Ridiculous to reward bad behavior. Dress codes are for everyone – white, black, brown or whatever. If you can’t follow the rules, don’t pull out the race card!!!!

SharonKurheg October 29, 2020 - 2:39 pm

Her behavior wasn’t bad at all; SW’s apology to her shows that ;-). I also don’t recall where race was a part of any of it? The only time it was mentioned was when she said that a woman, specifically a Black woman, her body is constantly policed and over-sexualized. And TBH, that’s the truth for any woman who feels like wearing less than a T-shirt.

But if those are SW’s rules, they need to be (A) more specific and (B) make sure they’re followed across the board.

Anna Morales Diaz October 29, 2020 - 3:24 pm

This would bother me if her nipples were out only, maybe. To each his own, or do you stop people on the street also? Its 2020, We need to worry about the enemy in the White House.

Gayle Waller October 29, 2020 - 10:12 pm

An airplane is not a nightclub and Southwest should have the right to deny noarding to people who are dressed exceeding immodestly. She was seeking attention and she got it
It had nothing to do with her being black. Why play the race card? She got a free flight so what is she complaining about?

SharonKurheg October 29, 2020 - 10:42 pm

See, that’s the thing. What you consider to be exceedingly immodest would be 100% OK clothing to someone else. If Southwest wants to have a specific, strict dress code, they need to say so on their website (and can we include wearing deodorant and not removing one’s shoes? Those two are much more important that some chick wearing a halter top with a shirt over it), and follow through needs to be the same for everyone. Southwest obviously understand this, since they admitted they were wrong, and apologized to her. Yay!

Christopher Kim October 30, 2020 - 12:44 pm

Except she didn’t play the race card. Sounds to me you need to work out some internal racism.

She mentioned near the end that she was a black woman. Never said they stopped her BECAUSE she’s a black woman.

I bet you think there is no more racism in the US either right?

Felly October 30, 2020 - 1:04 pm

I am a proud black woman. Yes ! She is playing a race card. This woman does not represent us. Her mode of dressing was inappropriate and tasteless. This has nothing to do with race.

Rick sheen October 29, 2020 - 5:42 pm

On the beach ok, but you should be covering most of your assets on a commercial flight. Personally it wouldn’t offend me as long as she didn’t mind me checking out what she is so proudly displaying. For more conservative people or most with children it is too much exposed. Of course that is my opinion and everyone won’t agree.

Tina Bianchini October 30, 2020 - 9:51 am

I totally agree. It is lewd to just barely covering her nipples. It was inappropriate attire. She looked like she was going clubbing.

Felly October 30, 2020 - 12:59 pm

I am a black woman and feel very ashamed of this woman. Southwest should not be encouraging bad behavior.Why was she given a refund?Her dressing was very inappropriate and embarrassing.

Annie Walden October 29, 2020 - 10:38 am


SharonKurheg October 29, 2020 - 2:34 pm

I think that would have been the opinions in the conservative 1950s. In 2020? Nope. 😉 But if SW would like their passengers to dress like clergy, they need to specify what they mean, and have the same rules for everyone.

Lizzie Marquardt October 30, 2020 - 9:05 am

Your hypocrisy is so ironic. She’s wearing a tight, very form-fitting skirt that emphasizes her figure from the waist down, leaving little to the imagination, and you think that’s fine. However, her showing cleavage is some how obscene or inappropriate. Do you hear yourself?

Mark Eckersley October 29, 2020 - 10:39 pm

It seems Annie is a little mentally ill

Brad October 29, 2020 - 11:30 am

I personally am not offended by her outfit. However, nowadays way to many people get offended by way to much, and I am sure SW would have received a lot more complaints if they allowed her to board like she was. I applaud the Captain & her for the loan & use of his shirt. She obviously is an intelligent woman and will consider this situation before her next flight, and I am sure she will make adjustments. She will do this not because she agrees with them, but to avoid the aggravation.. SW could simply include, no tank top, tube tops, muscle shirts, or swim wear signs. Something simple along those lines. Of course people will be offended and complain about that too. (damned if you do, damned if you don’t)

DT October 29, 2020 - 2:23 pm

“my body is constantly policed and over-sexualized, and that’s not fair to me.”

If you dress like the picture, then expect the attention. That’s what that top is meant to do. Social media is filled with pictures and videos of women dressed to draw attention to their bodies. It’s not wrong or inappropriate, but it’s done for a specific purpose; to draw attention.

Shar October 29, 2020 - 3:11 pm

If you don’t want to be sexualized you should take it upon yourself not to be. This had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE ABOUT RACE IT WAS ABOUT TACTFULNESS.

Mike Sidman October 29, 2020 - 5:13 pm


And halter tops, bikini tops. tube tops, sports bras, lingerie bras, etc., ARE NOT “SHIRTS”. And to say that you have seen shirtless men on flights is a statement that I call “B.S.” on, and the last I heard, men’s “Muscle Shirts” are not considered “shirts” in the eyes of some airlines, these men are told that if they don’t change in the men’s room into a REAL SHIRT, they WILL NOT BE BOARDED. Rules are rules, and in this day and age of “equality”, NOBODY deserves a pass for race, religion, national origin, skin color, OR GENDER. Your halter top might look chic on the beach or somewhere else where men go shirtless as Tarzan and women wear next to nothing from the waist up, but an airliner IS NOT one of those places, any more than a restaurant or a place of worship

SharonKurheg October 29, 2020 - 6:03 pm

I would love if you could show me an article about a man wearing a muscle shirt who was told to “put on a real shirt or they can’t board the plane.” I’ll wait.

Anthony Richard Jones October 29, 2020 - 5:20 pm

Dress like you are flying with families around.. Not a nightclub

SharonKurheg October 29, 2020 - 6:01 pm

Pretty sure I’ve seen some women, with kids in tow, wearing similar type of clothing on, during various flights.

Johny Hills October 30, 2020 - 10:07 am

Show me an article. I’ll wait.

CB October 29, 2020 - 5:23 pm

She is a Beautiful Black woman and I am as well with nice size(no artificial or Preservatives) boobs🧐….southwest airlines employees actions were on point this time😏uncover for those who will enjoy them SiS! But enjoy that cash back🙆🏾‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

Felly October 30, 2020 - 1:13 pm

She is an IRRESPONSIBLE black woman. By the way I am also a black woman who is very proud of her heritage. She needs to stop playing the race card. She does not represent us because we are a very cultured and responsible race.

Jim Tex October 29, 2020 - 6:58 pm

Southwest contradicted themselves by stating they expect passengers to present themselves clean. Stop right there at the word clean..I have flown their flights with gross filthy people who smell and believe me they walked by the crew and those crew could smell them. No own said a thing. This was about her body and they couldn’t handle it. She was covered appropriately for being in public whether anyone likes it or not. And to those that say well if you dress like that, then expect the attention. That’s as bad as saying a woman cannot dress beautifully and be proud of her body without expecting to be raped.

Amber Welch October 29, 2020 - 10:09 pm

This womans shirt is gross. I am so happy my kids weren’t subjected to this R rated mess. Put some clothes on! Whether you have what would be considered a good body or not… WTH really? This is what you wear to an airport? And then complain when someone correctly calls you obscene… you’re GROSS LADY!! No class whatsoever.

Katherine October 29, 2020 - 11:29 pm

As my mother used to say, “doesn’t leave much to the imagination “.

Sammy J October 30, 2020 - 3:31 am

The captain was nice enough to loan her a shirt but in another article, she stated as soon as she got on board, she took it off.

Her top was no more appropriate on a plane than wearing short-shorts to church would be. The flight crew did the proper thing asking her to cover up. They are ultimately responsible for her safety and well being while she is on board. Dressing in a bathing suit top without some type of cover, brings unwanted attention. This was a classless move to get attention. Well, guess what…she got it! Well done Kayla. Your post went viral, every news media is still commenting about this 3 weeks later, You got a free flight and an apology from the airline although they did nothing wrong,

The worst part of this is race had absolutely nothing to do with her being asked to cover her breasts on a flight, which BTW, gets very cold. It’s an airplane, not a night club.

Christopher Kim October 30, 2020 - 12:49 pm

Race was never a part of it. Did you even read the article? What? Because she mentioned near the end that she was specifically a black woman? She never said she was stopped BECAUSE of it. Get that internal racism out of here. I bet you think racism is cancelled in the US or something, right? Black people just overreacting when shit happens to them, right? Always the race card. Right?

Also, sounds like you haven’t been to church since the 70s. No short shorts in church? Lol. Bruh. Where the f**k have you been the past 10 years?

Ggomez October 30, 2020 - 7:30 am

Pathetic. Just put a damn shirt on. Kids don’t need to be seeing that. Have some RESPECT for others!!

Margaret Mnuchin October 30, 2020 - 9:16 am

Maybe all the airlines should just require everyone to wear a knee length skirt and long-sleeved, button down oxford. Men and women, no exceptions. It would provide endless amusement to see how everyone would complain about how unreasonable they were being, including, I’m sure, those here who think her outfit was inappropriate.

The gate agent was out of line. The top wasn’t lewd or ‘patently offensive’, as proven by the number of people defending this young woman.
If any airline is going to have a dress code for fliers then it needs to be specific, not left up to the discretion of the gate agents.

Felly October 30, 2020 - 1:53 pm

You do not need all of that to be RESPONSIBLE.Would she go to work or go for an interview like this? Her dressing was INAPPROPRIATE. She also needs to stop playing the race card and stop denigrating the black woman.
I am a proud black woman.She does not represent us.

G Shef October 30, 2020 - 11:31 am

She wasn’t kicked off because her body parts are lewd or offensive – she was kicked off because her attire was inappropriate for travel on an airplane. She was dressed for the beach. The airline has done everything to appease this woman but it’s not enough for her – that indicates it’s more about the attention she can get. The airline did not owe her an apology. Would she go to work dressed like this. Would she go to a job interview dressed like this. Would she go to church dressed like this. Would she go to a funeral dressed like this. Face it – it was inappropriate- stop whining.

Nun Ys October 30, 2020 - 11:48 am

Where do I begin? She isn’t showing her nipples however I am so over the Thots (That Joe Over There) Insta Hoes aka Instagram models, “yoga” pants and the see thru shirts (Kardashians.) They dress like they’re selling something. Oh my bad….they only sell to the right bidder. If only ladies would make a come back, self esteem would rise and baby mama would demise.

James October 30, 2020 - 2:48 pm

This is not a race issue. She has no class. Plain and simple. So yeah, Southwest, publish a dress code with appropriate and inappropriate attire photos. This can be the first inappropriate example.

Deyzvue Wesson October 30, 2020 - 3:28 pm

I am an older black woman and would not have wanted the attention. The other day I saw another young lady in an airport line with the same identical made top. The only difference was that she was a young Caucasian woman. The top looked very nice on her. I think the difference come into play with different body types. This young lady was not well endowed as say the southwest passenger was which made her top look totally perfect. It seem as though when a person is well endowed they get more attention. I taught my daughter that when one of your friends in school wears the same skirt, shorts or blouse that you wear, it gives off different signals because where it may look cute on them, it looks cute & sexy on you bcuz of your height and your (I don’t know how to say this) well endowedness. It has nothing to do with race. It’s just how it is. SAME clothing look different on different body types & figures. I have experienced this myself. I never wanted to be seen, I wanted to look nice in the latest, sexiest fashions. We women all know looking sexy makes us feel cute and sassy. Yes, we know people will look but yet we want to look good without the gloating. Get over it men, you have seen it all before, just admire the beauty but don’t gloat. At my age, I probably would have layered this outfit with a nice blazer and still looked pretty, cute and sexy. In my humble opinion, I see nothing wrong with her top, just different body type. I am a very modest 69 year old black woman who is not ashamed of her own sexuality. Leave her alone and I m sure she would have gotten cold and put on her jacket during the flight. I know the flight attendants may have saw this as a (how dare you) wish we could dress like that.


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