Delta Removes Passengers for Not Adhering to a Dress Code

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 17, 2024

A woman has recently shared an embarrassing story of being asked to leave a Delta flight for something she thought no one would notice. 

Multiple women have reported that flight attendants and ticketing agents have denied them access to their flights because of certain dress code measures in place. 

The Issue in Question

The troubling issue with the dress code being brought up is that they have disallowed women from flying for allegedly not wearing a bra

A busy airport with many people walking in different directions. A large sign shows multiple locations in the airport

Source: Skitterphoto

One woman claims she was targeted by the airline in an uncomfortable and unfair way. 

Customers Are Being Humiliated by the Airline

The victim, Lisa Archbold, says she was called out for not wearing the undergarment during her flight in March. 

A woman walks on a bridge with a large silver rolling suitcase and a green backpack

Source: Shutter2U/Canva

She says she felt like a “spectacle” being escorted off the plane for what she deemed was a perfectly acceptable outfit: blue jeans and a white t-shirt. 

Delta’s New Contract of Carriage Terms

As of March 12, 2024, Delta has released news rules that govern the code of conduct for customers.

A white airplane with a red stripe takes off into a blue sky

Source: swisshippo/Getty Images

The new rules allow the airline to remove any passenger who does not comply with what they deem to be appropriate clothing. 

Specifics That Will Get You Kicked off a Delta Flight

Some of the rules that will get a passenger kicked off the flight include their conduct or “condition” along with ability to comply with their carriage terms.

The inside of a large plane cabin with empty blue seats and open overhead bins under light blue lighting

Source: Gagliardi Photography/Canva

Within the terms, they outline a specific dress code that some people say only targets women. 

New Dress Code Is Very Specific

The dress code states that a passenger must be wearing shoes but that they can be taken off mid-flight. 

The aisle of a plane with passengers sitting in each seat

Source: Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash

However, more rules stipulate that customers can be refused on a flight if their conduct, attire, hygiene, or odor causes a reasonable risk to other passengers. 


Getting Kicked off Due to Clothing Choice

When Archbold went to the Salt Lake City Airport in January, she had no idea she was going to be targeted and humiliated by Delta staff. 

A group of passengers depart a small plane with blue seats

Source: Ina Carolino/Unsplash

Once the entire plane was seated, a flight attendant approached Archbold and asked to speak to her in private. 


Archbold Told to Cover Up

She was told by a gate agent that the outfit in question was “offensive or revealing.”

A young woman wearing a black face mask, gold hoop earrings, and a white tank top leaves an airport while rolling a suitcase

Source: Atoms/Unsplash

Archbold was then informed that she would be allowed to fly but only if she put on another shirt over what she was wearing; a plain white t-shirt.


Male Passengers Are Not Held to the Same Standard

The customer noted that men are not held to the same standard when attempting to gain access to a flight.

A man sits in his seat on a plane with the sun setting in the background seen through the window

Source: Bambi Corro/Unsplash

A man could easily wear a worn through or see through t-shirt and would not be asked to cover up during the flight. 


Achbold’s Attorney Fighting Back

Gloria Allred, Archbold’s representative, noted that at the time of being escorted off the plane, the rules simply stated that only guests who present a clear safety risk can be removed

A man sits on a flight while reading work documents

Source: Mpumelelo Macu/Unsplash

Archbold knows she did not pose a safety risk due to being braless on the flight. 


Flying in Comfort

As many women have noted because of this story, flying is uncomfortable, and people often dress down to make the journey a little nicer. 

A man sits on a small plane while wearing a t-shirt and a baseball hat

Source: Chase Fade/Unsplash

Undergarments like wire bras can be constricting and uncomfortable. Many people opt to wear sweatpants and hoodies to stay comfortable. 


No Plans for a Lawsuit

While Archbold feels as though she was wronged by the flight attendants that day, she has no plans to sue the airline. 

A flight attendant wearing a red suit jacket and stands in the entrance of the plane

Source: Jacky Watt/Unsplash

Instead, she has stated she simply wants a sit-down meeting with the president of Delta Airlines to clarify the policies and try to ensure other women will not feel discriminated against.