A United Airlines gate agent refuse to allow two young girls on a plane from Denver to Minneapolis early Sunday morning because they were wearing leggings.

A twitter exchange:

Shannon Watts, another passenger, observed the incident and went to Twitter immediately to document it. She criticized the obvious policing of girls’ clothing and regarding the dress code enforcement as sexist and hypocritical.

Watts stated that the policy sexualizes young girls who were simply wearing comfortable clothing and wondered if boys were subjected to the same sort of policy.

United’s social media account replied to Watts’ tweets. However, the responses only caused more anger.

One fact got lost in the middle of all the reactions, chatter, questions, jokes, and the like, which is that according to the airline’s social media account, the family members flying on United were “United pass travelers,” which refers to an employee standby status that is subject to a separate set of rules and guidelines, including the dress code.

However, Watts pointed out quickly that the girls were traveling with their dad, who was allowed to fly in shorts.

Other commenters stated that they have traveled for years under similar rules, adding that perhaps it’s time for those long-held guidelines to be changed.

The dress code:

Below is dress code guidelines for United employees traveling via the pass program states the following attire is unacceptable:

  • Any attire that reveals a midriff
  • Attire that reveals any type of undergarments
  • Attire that is designated as sleepwear, underwear, or swim attire
  • Miniskirts
  • Shorts that do not meet three inches above the knee when in a standing position
  • Form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants, and dresses
  • Attire that has offensive and/or derogatory terminology or graphics
  • Attire that is excessively dirty or has holes/tears
  • Any attire that is provocative, inappropriately revealing, or see-through clothing
  • Bare feet
  • Beach-type, rubber flip-flops

However, commenters noted the hypocrisy in those rules when United seemed perfectly happy to display women in leggings and yoga attire in one of its advertisements.