Many airlines are loosening guidelines on its crew uniform, so it’s not surprising to see passengers dress as they please during flights. It’s 2023 after all, and self-expression (and comfort) is encouraged.
A Southwest Airlines passenger however, recently took to social media to air her frustration after a flight attendant allegedly outfit-shamed her in front of other passengers.
Maggi Thorne is an athlete, American Ninja Warrior competitor, and a motivational speaker. Thorne was flying on flight WN 1039 from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Santa Ana Airport (SNA).
On a post dated September 2, 2023, Thorne said: “A Southwest Airlines flight attendant just shamed me in front of passengers, saying my attire wasn’t appropriate. A tank top and high waisted pants. Flight 1039,Is this really happening in 2023? The passengers around me were stunned as she shamed me for all to hear.”
Thorne included a photo of her wearing the outfit, and also a video clip of the flight attendant doing her rounds.
The low-cost carrier replied to Thorne, saying it is sorry to hear that her experience had left her doubting the airline’s commitment to customer service.
Thorne’s post garnered mixed reactions, with plenty pointing out that she was not, in fact, wearing a tank top but a sports bra, which many find inappropriate.
Another pointed out that it’s better to take the dress code “up a notch” when traveling, and save the sports bra for the gym and working out.
Meanwhile, others seem to be on Thorne’s side, with one saying she should be able to wear anything she wants since she is paying.
Does Southwest Airlines have a dress code?
A report by the Dallas Morning News said that after the incident, Thorne messaged a friend of hers who happens to be a Southwest flight attendant. Thorne asked her friend if the airline has a dress code, to which the friend said no.
On its website, Southwest makes reference to a loose dress code in its guideline to traveling on a guest pass, a non-revenue ticket for passengers traveling on a standby basis, saying, “Dress to impress. While Southwest’s dress code is relaxed and casual, you will be expected to present a clean, wellgroomed, and tasteful appearance.”