Burlesque dancer says airline told her to change before boarding flight

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A burlesque dancer from Seattle says an airline stripped away her dignity when they told her to change her clothes. (WLS)

A burlesque dancer from Seattle said an airline stripped away her dignity when they told her to change her clothes if she wanted to fly, KOMO reports.

At issue on this Boston to Seattle flight was a pair of short shorts. The pilot found them inappropriate. The passenger said it's just one opinion.

Not all travelers give much thought to what they wear on an airline flight, but an outfit nearly kept Maggie McMuffin from boarding at all.

"My problem with this is that it's entirely subjective," McMuffin said.

The entertainer was flying on JetBlue when an airline worker approached and said the pilot decided her striped shorts were inappropriate.

McMuffin said it was her only outfit, but offered a compromise.

"I could tie a sweater around my waste, I could get a blanket...and they said if you don't change your clothes, you're not going to be able to board this flight," she said.

Reaction from passengers was mixed.

"I would hate to sit next to someone dressed like that honestly," said passenger Maryanne Garner.

"I wouldn't wear them on a plane but she is welcome to," said another passenger, Kendall Merry.

"I don't think it was inappropriate," said passenger Freedom Kelley.

A JetBlue spokesperson said their contract of carriage allows JetBlue to deny boarding to any customer whose clothing may be offensive to the viewing public.

"We support our crewmembers' discretion to make these difficult decisions," said the spokesperson.

McMuffin said JetBlue offered to rebook her, but instead she ran through the terminal and bought these shorts to still take the original flight.

She said feels disrespected and outraged.

"I would say body shaming and slut shaming more than outright sexism, but it is really hard to remove those two things from misogyny," she said.

JetBlue offered an apology and a 162-dollar flight credit, but the performance dancer thinks Jetblue should offer sensitivity training to its pilots or be clearer with their expectations of customers.

"I would really like to know that JetBlue is doing more to deal with these situations going forward, or to make sure that they don't happen again," McMuffin said.

The passenger points out she was boarding a connecting flight and the previous JetBlue crew did not have an issue with her attire, nor did the TSA, which is why she feels the airline dress code is too subjective.
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