Southwest Airlines forced to apologise after refusing to let woman board plane unless she covered up her cleavage – because it wasn"t…

Southwest Airlines forced to apologise after refusing to let woman board plane unless she covered up her cleavage – because it wasn't 'family friendly'

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UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 15 June 2012

Avital (who spoke using only her first name), was due to travel from Las Vegas to New York when airline staff said her dress was inappropriate

Avital (who spoke using only her first name), was due to travel from Las Vegas to New York when airline staff said her dress was inappropriate

A woman has revealed how Southwest Airlines refused to let her board her flight because her cleavage was exposed.

Avital (who spoke using only her first name), was due to travel from Las Vegas to New York when airline staff said her dress was inappropriate.

Despite her
humiliation, she still walked onto the flight, later making a formal complaint
to the airline.

Avital told Jezebel: 'I didn't want to let the
representative's “Big Feelings” about my breasts change the way I intended
to board my flight.

'And lo and behold, the plane
didn't fall out of the sky…my cleavage did not interfere with the
plane's ability to function properly.'

Since Avital's story has been made public, the airline has offered her an apology and a refund as a 'gesture of goodwill'.

Southwest Airlines' Christi McNeill
said its Contract of Carriage enables staff to refuse transport to a
customer whose clothing is 'lewd, obscene, or patently offensive,' even
though the company does not specify a dress code on its website.

Ms
McNeil said: 'As a Company that promotes a casual and family-focused
atmosphere on-board our aircraft and in our airports, we simply ask that
our Customers use good judgment and exercise discretion in deference to
other Customers who depend on us to provide a comfortable travel
experience.'

Notably, for
an airline that actively dictates what is and is not appropriate
apparel, Avital added: 'To add insult to injury, the guy sitting in
front of me on the plane was wearing a shirt with an actual Trojan
condom embedded behind a clear plastic applique and had no trouble
getting on his flight.'

'[It is] slut shaming, pure and simple,' she said.

Avital is not the first woman that the
airline has deemed 'too exposed' to fly. In fact, Southwest has a
well-documented history of considering cleavage anti 'family-friendly'.

Kyla Ebbert was escorted off a flight by a male Southwest customer service supervisor who labelled her outfit as 'inappropriate'

Setara Qassim was forced to wear a blanket by a Southwest flight attendant who considered her halterneck top too low cut.

Dress codes: Kyla Ebbert (left) was
escorted off a Southwest flight after her outfit was labelled 'inappropriate,' while Setara Qassim (right) was forced to wear a blanket after a staff member said her top was too low cut

Other disgruntled women who have been
victimised by the airline include Kyla Ebbert, who, in 2007, was
escorted off a flight by a male Southwest customer service supervisor
who labelled her outfit as 'inappropriate'.

Ms Ebbert was wearing a high-neckline mini-dress, which she paired with an elbow-length cardigan.

A
week later, Setara Qassim was forced to wear a blanket by a Southwest
flight attendant who considered her halterneck top too low cut.

Southwest Airlines' Christi McNeill said its Contract of Carriage enables staff to refuse transport to a customer whose clothing is 'lewd, obscene, or patently offensive,' even though the company does not have a dress code on its website.

Southwest Airlines: A spokesperson said staff are allowed to refuse transport to a customer whose clothing is 'lewd, obscene, or patently offensive,' even though the company does not have a dress code on its website

Fine print: Southwest Airlines' Contract of Carriage enables staff to refuse transport to a customer whose clothing is 'lewd, obscene, or patently offensive,' even though the company does not have a dress code on its website

Fine print: Southwest Airlines' Contract of Carriage enables staff to refuse transport to a customer whose clothing is 'lewd, obscene, or patently offensive,' but the company's website does not specify a dress code

Avital, who said she will never fly Southwest again, wants to ensure other people do not have to go through the same embarrassing experience.

She said: 'It seems like only people who raise a big stink get an apology.

'What I want to avoid is being subject to individual employee's whims. There's no official channel at Southwest to make sure that doesn't happen.'