Girls in leggings barred from flight over dress code

United Airlines is defending its decision to ban two girls from a flight with their father because they were wearing leggings.

Passenger Shannon Watts claimed the girls were told to change by United Airlines workers at the gate before they were allowed on the Colorado flight to Minnesota.

In response, United tweeted: "In our Contract of Carriage, Rule 21, we do have the right to refuse transport for passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed".

When reached by Fox News via email, United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin would not clarify the exact details on its dress policy for those traveling as "United pass" passengers.

The dress code for those using the pass says passengers can not wear "form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, trousers and dresses" and should not expose their midriffs.

According to Guerin, passengers using an employee pass are required to meet a more formal dress code.

"When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United", the statement reads.

"Our regular passengers will not be denied boarding because they are wearing leggings or yoga trousers", a Washington Post spokeswoman said.

- Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 20173) As the mother of 4 daughters who live and travel in yoga trousers, I'd like to know how many boys @United has penalized for the same reason.

The dress code bars pass travellers from wearing spandex or Lycra trousers, including leggings.

The move sparked a wave of online criticism against United Airlines. The airline explained that it allows employees to extend their free-flight privilege to friends and family, whom it refers to as "pass riders".

The airline took a swipe at competitor United on Monday, March 27th, one day after an obscure dress code requirement at that airline caused a kerfuffle on Twitter.

"I was kicked off the plane and told I couldn't board because I had tennis shoes on", she said. Only a long top serving as a dress. "They wear yoga trousers all of the time when flying", said Watts in an email from aboard her flight.

She also responded to the United statement above, adding, "It's just that saying a dad in cargo shorts is more appropriate than a 10 y/o girl in leggings is weird maybe rethink".

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