Sticking to the Thomas Cook theme today, it appears the airline wants you to be comfortable onboard, but not too comfortable. That’s at least what one 21-year-old passenger claims after a recent onboard incident.
Emily O’Connor was flying Thomas Cook from Birmingham to Tenerife. She was dressed in a crop top and high-waisted pants.
Shortly after boarding, O’Connor was approached by a flight attendant and instructed to cover up because she was dressed “inappropriately” and “causing offense” to other passengers.
O’Connor looked around to the passengers around her and asked if her attire was offensive. No one was willing to say yes…or no.
Still, FAs insisted that she cover up. A relative pulled out a jacket from her carry-on bag and O’Connor covered up.
Later taking to Twitter, O’Connor shared:
Flying from Bham to Tenerife, Thomas Cook told me that they were going to remove me from the flight if I didn’t “cover up” as I was “causing offence” and was “inappropriate”. They had 4 flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane. pic.twitter.com/r28nvSYaoY
— Emily O'Connor (@emroseoconnor) March 12, 2019
Flying from Bham to Tenerife, Thomas Cook told me that they were going to remove me from the flight if I didn’t “cover up” as I was “causing offence” and was “inappropriate”. They had 4 flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane.
She added, “They made comments over the speaker about the situation and left me shaking and upset…”
Thomas Cook somewhat apologized for the incident.
We are sorry that we upset Ms O’Connor. It’s clear we could have handled the situation better. In common with most airlines we have an appropriate attire policy. This applies equally to men and women of all ages without discrimination. Our crews have the difficult task of implementing that policy and don’t always get it right.
I took a look at Thomas Cook’s website and Contract of Carriage and find no information about the dress code. But this rule has been widely quoted in the press:
Inappropriate attire (including items with offensive slogans or images) will not be permitted to travel unless a change of clothes is possible.
We can debate about dress codes all day long, but since “inappropriate” has such a subjective meaning in this culture, enforcing it becomes inherently arbitrary and will lead to more situations like what happened to O’Connor.
What do you think about the onboard incident?