Plane passengers could be obliged to follow a dress code after carriers received many calls from flyers’ rights groups to issue rules on what can and can’t be worn on board an aircraft.
The proposal follows a series of high profile incidents including one Phoenix man boarding a plane in lingerie.
In June this year, a 65-year-old Phoenix man, who works as a business consultant, sparked outrage after wearing the women’s underwear on a U.S. Airways flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The man, who has refused to be named, flies several times a month as a preferred customer on the airline and said that he has flown in female clothing for several years.
The business man said that he has rarely been requested to cover up by airline staff, but has complied with requests when asked.
“It has never been my intent to put people in a situation where they feel uncomfortable,” he said.
The incident occurred days before a college football player was arrested on a flight following a row over his baggy pants.
University of New Mexico football player DeShon Marman was arrested on a U.S. Airways flight at San Francisco airport following allegations he refused to pull up his pants.
Kate Hanni, executive director of FlyersRights.org told Fox News: “People aren’t mind readers. They don’t know what that flight attendant’s going to want to see when you get on a plane.”
Kate Hanni says the lack of consistency leaves passengers open to the flight crews discretion and they may take offense at items of clothing that wouldn’t be considered appropriate.
She added: “The airlines should step up and do this on their own, just so that passengers can predict and appropriately dress. If there’s a requirement to wear a certain type of clothing, or not wear a certain type of clothing, tell us.”
Virgin America CEO David Cush said: “In the end, the flight crew is in charge of the aircraft, and they have to make judgments based on what they think is going to create the safest and most comfortable environment for everyone on the airplane.”
Most carriers say passengers can be refused service if they’re dressed in a manner “that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers”.
But the airlines have shied away from any specific dress codes citing the difficulty to enforce as a major detractor as well as the potential lawsuits.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson told Fox News: “If an airline’s going to be so unreasonable for kicking someone off a plane for wearing saggy pants or being slightly overweight, to me, it just seems impolite of the airline to behave in that way.”