United Airlines is in hot water after a dress code incident on Sunday morning. In a series of live tweets, activist Shannon Watts explained that two girls who were wearing leggings were asked by the United Airlines gate agent to either change clothing or not board their flight to Minneapolis. SEE ALSO: Teenagers spot fire on plane flying overhead, avert major disaster 1) A @united gate agent isn't letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed? — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017 2) She's forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can't board. Since when does @united police women's clothing? — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017 3) Gate agent for flt 215 at 7:55. Said she doesn't make the rules, just follows them. I guess @united not letting women wear athletic wear? — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017 "This behavior is sexist and sexualizes young girls. Not to mention that the families were mortified and inconvenienced," Watts explained on Twitter. "As the mother of 4 daughters who live and travel in yoga pants, I'd like to know how many boys @ United has penalized for the same reason. Their father, who was allowed to board with no issue, was wearing shorts," she wrote. Another girl in grey leggings was allowed to fly after changing into a dress, according to Watt's tweets. After a large amount of backlash from Twitter users, United Airlines responded to angry inquiries online, citing a dress code that appears in their "Contract of Carriage" that allows them to "refuse passengers who are not properly clothed." @finallydeirdre UA shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage. ^FS — United (@united) March 26, 2017 "Casual attire is allowed as long as it looks neat and is in good taste for the local environment," the airlines also tweeted. @PattyArquette Casual attire is allowed as long as it looks neat and is in good taste for the local environment. (1/2) — United (@united) March 26, 2017 The internet was outraged, both over United's actions and its public response to the controversy. @united @PattyArquette Friendly Advice, United: No one is nearly as offended by a little girl in spandex as they are by this situation. — Nick Bolton (@NickBolton13) March 26, 2017 @shannonrwatts There are women in leggings and bathing suits in a recent @united safety video. https://t.co/b1xByiCZ3f — Ian Schafer (@ischafer) March 26, 2017 The only place @united's Contract of Carriage mentions clothing is regarding safety. Were these dangerous leggings? https://t.co/gQhX7l943d — Chris (@filmbuffcw) March 26, 2017 @shannonrwatts Hey, @united, you know how this ends, right? Images of women in leggings tagging you on social as they fly your competition. — Jenn (@jennvzande) March 26, 2017 Please #mansplain to me why a 10 yr old in leggings is "inappropriate attire" #boycottunited https://t.co/YOaqd7d8wm — Girl Science (@GoGirlScience) March 26, 2017 The @united response to this leggings thing is a case study on how not to respond to a brand crisis https://t.co/stO7dco5co — laura olin (@lauraolin) March 26, 2017
Mashable has reached out to United Airlines for comment and will update this post accordingly.
UPDATE: March 26, 2017, 2:14 p.m. EDT The two girls were United Airlines "pass riders," defined by the company as "United employees or their eligible dependents standing by on a space-available basis." There is a separate dress code for pass riders, unrelated to United Airlines previous citations of the "Contract of Carriage," that remains "internal policy" and will not be released, according to a statement made to NBC's Colorado affiliate,
9 News. WATCH: Airbus is redefining the future of flying.