Woman ‘humiliated’ after United Airlines almost denies her boarding over outfit

Helen Coffey
Andrea Worldwide said this outfit almost got her kicked off a flight: CBS4/Andrea Worldwide

A woman has said she was “completely humiliated” after she was almost denied boarding on a United Airlines flight because of her outfit.

Andrea Worldwide, a United Airlines platinum member, was flying first-class from Denver, Colorado to Newark, New York in the US on the first leg of a journey to visit her long-distance boyfriend in San Juan, Puerto Rico when she was stopped by gate staff on 13 January.

She said was asked to step aside by a male employee with no explanation.

“I didn’t get a reason at first, and then there was a little bit of shuffling going on with the other employees,” she told news channel CBS4.

Ms Worldwide said she was eventually told the problem was her top, which was low cut and through which part of her bralet was visible.

She said she was dressed for comfort as she normally is for the journey to see her boyfriend, which usually involves an overnight flight.

“I’m completely humiliated, embarrassed, confused,” she said. “I feel like all eyes are on me.”

Pictures of her outfit shared by Ms Worldwide show that she was also wearing a long cardigan and a scarf over the top.

In the end staff changed their minds and allowed her on the flight, even offering a travel voucher as recompense.

Andrea said she was ‘humiliated’ (CBS4/Andrea Worldwide)

However, Ms Worldwide declined, saying: “Two hundred dollars doesn’t even compare to the humiliation that I faced, and if another female has to face this, I’d rather get the word out and maybe they’ll choose a different airline.”

United is in touch with her, according to a spokesperson.

They said: “At United, our goal is for our customers to feel welcome and have a comfortable journey. We are reaching out to our customer to better understand what happened.”

The airline currently has a dress code policy for employees or those travelling as friends and family of staff members, but for normal passengers there are few restrictions.

It’s not the first time a traveller has been targeted for their outfit choice.

Last summer, a mother travelling with her son was left humiliated after American Airlines cabin crew forced her to cover up her outfit with a blanket before they would let her onboard.

Latisha Rowe, a doctor from Houston,Texas, was wearing a strapless playsuit for the flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami.

“I have a very curvaceous body, and I put my body in bold colours, so you’re going to see it,” Rowe told Business Insider. “But it’s not vulgar. It’s not inappropriate.”

An AA spokesperson said: “We were concerned about Dr Rowe’s comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred.

“We want to personally apologise to Dr Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel.

“We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

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