Southwest Airlines Dress Code

Kyla EbbertPoor Kyla Ebbert. Actually, poor stupid Keith – the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who is likely going to be out of a job after the lawsuit the Ebberts will surely file against the company. Kyla Ebbert was thrown off a flight between San Diego and Phoenix because the flight attendant said she wasn’t dressed appropriately for travel. I see people walking around regularly in less clothing than this girl, so I don’t understand what the deal was. The top was snug and the skirt was short, but she wasn’t showing her business and that is all that matters.

Now the family is overplaying Kyla’s deviations at being told she was dressed inappropriately and the fact that she was going to a doctor’s appointment. You have to get sympathy somehow. The fact of the matter is that it makes no difference where she was going, that guy was out of line.

After the incident, the San Diego Union-Tribune called Southwest to see if the airline had a dress code. The newspaper quoted the agent it spoke with as saying, “We don’t have a problem with it if she’s covered up in all the right spots. We don’t have a dress code.” I guess just Keith has a dress code.

The Ebberts have engaged an attorney to help them decide what to do next. I smell a fortune in an out of court settlement.

Just to compare and contrast, lets see Kyla next to some of the stewardesses of the past in the getups the airlines required them to wear:




Stewardess 1

Stewardess 2

Stewardess 3

And my personal favorite:

Stewardess 4

Photos via BoingBoing.

She doesn’t look so bad next to those ladies. Do you think they’re going to call it Kyla Air or Ebbert Airways once she owns the company.

What’s your stand on the subject?

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26 thoughts on “Southwest Airlines Dress Code

  • Miriam

    I have to say I like the fact that the staff at Southwest would take the stand it has on inappropriate dress. I am a mother of three young sons and we only fly Southwest. I am tired of my sons being subjected to the half naked men and women who have no self respect or respect for others. I wish more companies, restaurants and consumer driven public areas would take similiar stances. Post a dress code and then enforce it! I love it. Or don’t post a dress code, it’s your company,and obviously other passengers complained so the stewardess addressed the complaint with the offender. Keep up the good work Southwest! Now if we can only ban flip flops and low riders…

  • Cyndy

    Lady, how old are you??? This is the 21st Century and not the 19th Century. This passenger was not showing anything inappropriate. Southwest Airlines had an advertisement back in the early 1970’s that had their stewardresses in less than what this passenger was wearing. You probably still wear polyester pants and dickies!

  • Liz

    My husband and I travel frequently and have seen much less on travelers than she is wearing. Yes, she is wearing snug clothing over an eye catching body, however, it is all covered. I am very well indowed myself and we are planning another flight in 2 weeks. So maybe I should get my turtle necks out, hmmm!

  • OnePass Platinum

    Miriam, I am glad to hear you only fly SWA. Eventhough I could fly Southwest for free (my partner works for HQ in Dallas) I stick to Continental. Southwest is a miserable airline that consistently “violates” passengers basic rights. If they have a dress code, POST IT! This is clearly a violtion of Kyla’s contract of carriage. They need to get burned on this one. I’ve seen much more revealing clothing almost everywhere, I could care less. It’s a personal decision and NO ONE has a right to complain unless “business” was showing and it wasn’t. Miriam sounds like the type with three screaming, ill-behaved monsters but complains about everyone else. Thank God for first class!

  • Jessica

    I have no problem with someone demanding that we start dressing like ladies and less like whores. I am not old either, only 32 but I am tired of knowing what someone looks like naked because they are so scantly clad!

  • Parisgirl

    We have to practically shed all our clothes to get through the security check anyhow – thus – the flipflops.

    But I agree with the conservative staff – let’s bring in the Taliban to do the decency check just before boarding the planes. You know they won’t let a single indecently dressed person slip through the cracks.

    But now, speaking seriously, Carrie, I loved the past promo pictures featuring the past era minis – it shows how public mores change over the years when it comes to what’s ‘okay’ and ‘not okay’.

    Things change. But, we’re the same old human bodies wrapped up in different packaging. There’ll always be somebody around to tell us how to do the wrapping

  • MAL

    I think that Southwest handled the situation poorly and, based on reports of another similar incident, I think it needs to adopt a dress code and consistently enforce it if it wants to kick people off of flights (and/or publicly humiliate them). I travel on a regular basis and frequently see or smell things I don’t enjoy, but it seems unfair for airlines to pick and choose who to kick off of the plane, since what qualifies as “decent” attire is a somewhat subjective standard — particularly on a cheapo airline like Southwest that doesn’t attract as many business travelers.

    With that having been said, I saw Kyla’s appearance on the Today Show and they had to blur out her crotch because when she sat down after the picture above was taken, apparently you could see whatever she had (or did not have) on under her skirt. Although I’m still not sure Southwest had the right to try to kick her off of the plane, I would be embarassed to make this into a national media event myself. Kyla’s mom strikes me as the type of helicopter parent who is responsible for the fact that many young people can’t seem to do anything without help and advice from mom, including how to dress. For the record, I’m 28, not some old lady who is offended at the sight of flip flops. However, if I went around showing my underwear to people, I can’t picture my mom taking me on national TV to talk about it.

  • MadMaxx

    Air Lines shouldn’t have to post dress codes you idiots! Albeit we are a free country but come on… use your head in selecting what to wear and when. If this is “appropriate dress” would you wear it to church, a nice dinner, a country club? I hope not. You young people today only think about yourselves in every decision you make. You have no style, taste or class and most of you act like a bunch of spoiled little brats that whine when you don’t get your way.

  • Claire

    It’s not “what century” we’re in. It’s the fact that people have no self-respect or respect for others anymore. My husband and I fly a lot for pleasure and I can’t tell you the disgusting things I have seen merely because someone doesn’t have the common decency to dress like they’ve got some class. I am a thin, petite child-free 40 year old woman with a great body. My mother taught me to take care and think about where I am going, who I will be encoutering, and plan my outfit based on that. I see that is not the case anymore. I was apparently raised better than this young “lady” was.

  • OnePass Platinum

    OK, once again, it was SOUTHWEST! Her oufit was no more inappropriate than the other butt cracked, foul-smelling, foul talking cattle that fly Southwest. You’d have to be an idiot to compare any Southwest flight to; church, a nice dinner, a country club. I fly EVERY day of the week, nothing surprises me any longer. To be making this the event it has become is beyond silly. I would rather have her sitting next to me than some idiot parents with screaming brats that the parents refuse to control. Let’s ban screaming children! Let’s ban people that carry-on every damn thing they own. Where does it end people? Mind your own business and stop being so sensitive or stay at home.

  • Commander Ed Moritz

    After my first experience on Southwest Airlines I vowed NEVER to fly them again because of the dress code or lack of one for flignt and ground crews. I only fly in a suit and tie, just as if I was foing to chruch, to a doctor or lawyer or other professional. When I see pilots in leather flight jackets like latter-day Fonzies it turns my stomach with apprehension as to their skills. Nor am I comforted by the stews, yes I said it, in dungarees. On my first flight one girl (she was hardly more than that) yelled “shut-up” to her colleague over the intercom as if in a vaudeville show. I am not impressed by studied informality. It smacks of lack of respect for the details and my safety.

  • Airline Friendly

    First of all Kyla didn’t get kicked off the flight she was asked to change and when she had no other clothes,the flight attendant allowed her to stay on the flight. I am only 23 and what that girl is wearing is offensive to me…(and no I am not fat or flat chested either.) Yea, standing you may not be able to see much but when she sits down how are you not gonna see more than anyone but her sugnificant other should ever see..

    As for the attire on Southwest heaven forbid they be more comfortable when flying all day long and in no way can you say their appearance has anything to do with their talent as pilots or fight attendants… Again as said on the airing of Dr Phil, Southwest has the #1 in safety of any other airline…

    I think this was blown way out of proportion and she should have never taken it this far. The flight attendant didn’t talk to her in front of anyone, he pulled her to the front the plane and the only reason people stared at her on the way back was because they are nosey and wanted to know what happen…

  • joyce

    The airline has a right to do what it thinks is best. Like the MaddMaxx says, Southwest or any other airline does not have to post a dress code. It’s what’s socially acceptable. Of course, if Paris Hilton and Britney Spears showing off their privates is acceptable then perhaps Southwest is too “old school”. This whole thing is perpetuated by self-absorbed self-entitled people being goaded by their irresponsible parents being goaded by a society that sees things as all or nothing. Stop acting like Southwest is the new Taliban.

  • Rick

    Actually if everyone knew the WHOLE story you would have a different opinion. Just look at the picture of her on the Today show. the top of her shorts are below her hips, the tshirt is stretched down. She also wasn’t wearing any underwear THAT IS WHY SHE WAS ASKED TO COVER UP BY A SUPERVISOR, NOT A FLIGHT ATTENDANT!!!! and it all started from a Passenger complaint! Love the way the media exploits things.

  • daniel sebold

    It’s amazing how Kafkaesqe this whole matter has been: no one has a clue as to exactly what was wrong with this woman’s attire, and we will never know. It’s all highly speculative It probably wasn’t a lack of panties issue. Otherwise an arrest whould have been made, or the airline would have said so.

    And we will never know what Southwest Airlines’ dress code is. It’s all very ambiguous and therefore subjected to the fascist whims of any biggot wearing a stewardess or steward uniform. The words “family airline” suggests the taste of Christian fundamentalism. On the other hand, Christian fundamentalists can often be more liberal than liberals on these issues.

    So much for the idea that the free market leads to more personal freedom. No surprise that the airline will now try to explit the issue by advertising “skimpy” air fares–complete denial of having dehuhamized this poor girl.

  • FVH

    There is a big difference between sitting in a short dress on public TV in a chair that is facing the cameras and audience, and sitting in an airline seat that faces, within inches, the back of the next seat forward. I have seen many women on talk shows that you can see up their dress even though it hits near her knee when standing. Most of the talk show chairs are no longer facing straight in line with the cameras and audience to help avoid this.
    For someone to have any kind of view of her “Business” when she was seated the person would have to almost have their head in between her knees. Maybe a bit obvious even for a voyeur.

  • paul f

    I’ll go with southwest on this, you see, the mom said nothing wrong with her attire, because she is a lady, she doesn’t have that instinct of guys who knows how to spot a thrill like this from a woman like her. Im sure every guys are talking about , saying , wait till she sits, we will find out. Like southwest says, they are a family airline, cheap airlines, where average income family flies to take vacation, unfortunately, a vacation that would go into waste because daddy was a looking / distracted with this lady trying to grab attention with her skirt. So you see Southwest needs to be applauded for doing this action. Hey , you want divorce rate to go up, let women come and fly in this skimpy, revealing skirts in a cheap airline where the average income family flies after working so hard to afford a vaccation for their loved ones, instead, daddy gets distracted by lady.

  • Get Real

    Maybe we should start baning bikini’s? A poor kid or adult prude may be scarred for life if he/she has to swim in the same private OR public pool or beach with someone wearing something SO revealing! Get a life people! Stop complaining! She wasn’t showing anything more indescant than what you or your kids watch on television.

  • mr baker

    Are you sure she wasn’t showing her business? Lot’s of talk about a “Commando Kyla” the day of her flight. Also, if she was so embarrased, why is she currently appearing in the nude on

  • Lawrence Marshall

    I congradulate Southwest for their stand.Does being a “young” woman give the right to go around showing her butt? Where has descency among youg women gone?Where is self respect hiding?