Thomas Cook staff threaten to kick woman, 21, off a flight because her crop top was 'causing offense' to other passengers
Emily O'Connor , 21, from Birmingham, was flying to Tenerife on 2 March when plane staff allegedly told her to 'cover up' as her attire was 'inappropriate'.
A British woman has said she was threatened by Thomas Cook staff to kick her off a flight to Tenerife unless she "covered up" and was left "shaking" after they "made comments about the situation" over the PA system.
On March 2, Emily O'Connor, 21, was flying to the Canary Island holiday destination when the airline staff allegedly told her that her back crop top and yellow trousers were "inappropriate" and were "causing offense" to other passengers, Daily Mail reports.
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
O'Connor was left "shaking and upset" after airline staff allegedly "made comments about the situation" over the PA system. She was eventually given a jacket to wear by her cousin and that's when the ordeal stopped. She, however, added that she wore the same outfit on the journey back to Birmingham, and had 'no complaints'.
While the travel group apologized to the young woman in a statement issued on Wednesday, they also pointed to their "appropriate attire" policy, which features in their in-flight magazine. Nonetheless, Emily has won the support of the majority of social media users, including reality TV star Gabby Allen, who defended the holidaymaker's choice of attire.
Thomas Cook's clothing policy dictates that "customers wearing inappropriate attire (including items with offensive slogans or images) will not be permitted to travel unless a change of clothes is possible."
"Flying from [Birmingham] 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 offense' and was 'inappropriate'," said Emily, was was wearing a "summer top" from high street retailer Zara during her travel.
"They had four flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane. I informed the staff that there is no 'appropriate wear' policy stipulated online. I stood up on the flight and asked if anyone was offended, no-one said a word. To top it off they allowed a man [to] hurl abuse at me whilst the flight manager and four air staff stood and said nothing."
"I wore this through the airport [security, passport control etc], boarded the plane, [was] told to cover up by the greeting staff," she added. "I was physically shaking, and they could see that, yet they continued to sexualize me and ridicule me. It was the worst experience of my life."
'Love Island' star Gabby Allen responded to her tweet, saying, "It's safe to say, I will never fly with Thomas Cook again."
In a conversation with Daily Mail, Emily described her ordeal. "They said they would investigate but [I have] heard nothing back really. I contacted them this morning where they said they are doing a formal investigation into the flight staff," she said.
"This woman deserves an explanation and an apology," one Twitter user wrote. "How can you deem what's appropriate to wear if there are no rules stipulated? Next time I wear shorts and a vest on a flight, am I causing offense? Should I 'cover-up?'"
However, a spokesperson for Thomas Cook said, "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 clothing 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."