After spending a wonderful vacation in Spain, a woman was looking forward to heading back home. She never thought she would experience what was waiting for her, as she was always an avid traveler. This is what happened…
An Unexpected Shock
31 year old Harriet Osborne enjoyed her vacation and was ready to get back to her routine. Nobody expects to be removed from their flight by force, especially when they believe they haven’t done anything wrong. But something about her was a problem for the airline…
A Much-Needed Vacation
Harriet, along with a group of her friends, travelled to the south of Spain in order to enjoy some sunshine and quality time at the beach. Her everyday life is so chaotic that Harriet felt it was finally time for her to let her hair down and relax.
Her Busy Lifestyle
Harriet was working as a professional makeup artist which meant that her lifestyle was extremely busy. In addition to her job, Harriet was busy raising her children. All of the chaos of her everyday life meant that the vacation with her friends was truly needed and rejuvenating.
Her Vacation Wardrobe
Normally, Harriet opts for modest and comfortable clothing that’s suitable to a busy working mother. However, while vacationing in Spain, most people would prefer light and shorter clothing that will be most comfortable in the hot sun.
This much needed time off gave Harriet the chance to let go from her usual everyday stress and just enjoy herself. She loved spending time in the sun, tanning in her swimsuit, and even swimming in the beautiful beaches that Spain has to offer. Little did she know that the whole experience would end in tears.
Starting To Feeling Homesick
Even though Harriet was having a wonderful time, towards the end of her vacation, she began to feel some pangs of homesickness. She was ready to get back to her normal life in England. With souvenirs ready for her family and friends back home, Harriet was ready to head back.
Feeling Fully Relaxed
Harriet set out on her Spanish vacation with the hopes of letting go of her stress of everyday life and recharge before heading back. Luckily, the vacation was a success, and she was feeling ready to take on her usual responsibilities once again.
Where She Vacationed
Harriet and her friends chose to vacation in Malaga, Spain. Its known for its stunning beaches where you can enjoy the sun all year round. Many British tourists head to Malaga’s Costa del Sol, or the ‘coast of the sun,’ in order to relax and recharge.
Something Was Missing
Although Harriet was truly having a wonderful time, in the back of her mind, she couldn’t help that something was missing to make this vacation truly complete. The nagging feeling remained throughout, but she tried to enjoy herself despite it.
A Stark Difference
Malaga could not be more different than her home country of England, where grey skies and cold temperatures are the norm. Though she was feeling a bit homesick, one thing was clear to Harriet and that was she did not miss the English weather.
One Last Stop
As her time in Spain drew to a close, Harriet decided to make one last shopping trip before the vacation came to a close. She and her friends adored shopping, so they wanted to make sure they get one last trip in befre they left.
Luxurious Shopping Experience
Now when it comes to shopping, Malaga is a great destination for tourists. Along the Avenida de Andalucia, shoppers can stroll by high-end designer shops as well as fashion houses featuring incredible designs. Harriet never thought that these fineries would lead to an eventual disaster.
It Caught Her Eye
As she and her friends were strolling and window shopping, Harriet suddenly noticed something that caught her eye. A display window at El Corte Ingles showcased a sheer blouse that Harriet loved, but one look at the price tag dashed her hopes.
Just Trying It On
Since they were on vacation, Harriet’s friends encouraged her to try the blouse on despite its extravagant price tag. It was just a bit of fun and what harm could come of just trying the blouse on?
It really did not take much convincing, and so Harriet took the beautiful blouse and headed over to the fitting rooms. When she stepped out with the top on, her friends exclaimed excitedly that it seemed like this top was made just for her. It fit perfectly.
Giving In To Temptation
Even though she was well aware of the price tag, Harriet felt that she owed it to herself to buy the top. After all, she worked hard to her money, and the blouse was absolutely perfect on her. She took out her card and the purchase was made.
Having Second Thoughts
The women headed to their last lunch while in Spain, and Harriet tried to push aside her feelings of shopper’s remorse. She knew that it was an impulse purchase and was starting to feel guilty about spending so much on a top. Their time in Spain came to a close and it was time to pack and check out of the hotel.
Second Pang Of Regret
Harriet packed up her room and finally reached the designer bag that held her new blouse. She immediately felt a heavy feeling of guilt. She wondered if it was too late to go back and return the blouse. She couldn’t stop asking herself why she had given in and bought it.
As Harriet left her hotel and got in the cab heading to the airport, she was starting to accept the fact that she bought the blouse and she would have to deal with it. Little did she knew, she would be regretting it more than ever very soon…
Impulse Buy Disaster
While Harriet was regretting the purchase, she had no idea that this split second decision would result in so much stress and misery. They say hindsight is 2020, but we’re sure that Harriet wishes she could go back in time and not purchase that top after all.
No Judgement, Please
Harriet considers herself a feminist and believes that women should be able to wear whatever they please without having to worry about being judged. That’s why she purchased the sheer top without worrying about it too much.
Harriet grew accustomed to the feeling of non-restrictive clothing during the course of the trip, and she figured that she could bring a bit of this Spanish lifestyle back home with her in the form of this light, sheer blouse.
Maybe This Would Help
Harriet thought of an idea, hoping that it would help alleviate some of the feelings of guilt she was feeling about her impulse purchase. She decided to wear the blouse on her way back home. It did fit her perfectly, and she felt very confident in it.
Well, Why Not?
Harriet figured that by reminding herself of just how perfectly this top fit her, she would maybe feel less guilty about how much she had spent on it. Besides, here was her chance to show off her newly tanned skin.
Harriet was finally at the airport, ready to get home. She checked in her luggage and was heading to her gate, feeling confident and attractive in her brand new blouse. She thought to herself that maybe it hadn’t been a bad purchase after all.
Shopping At The Duty-Free
Harriet had some time left before the departure, so she decided to spend some time browsing more potential gifts at the Duty-Free shops. At the shops, she heard the boarding announcement and so she headed to the gate.
Ready To Get Home
As people began lining up for the flight, she saw many groups of families together both at her gate as well as at surrounding gates. This tugged at her heartstrings, and she could not wait to see her kids.
All Seemed Normal
Harriet followed the usual procedure and handed her ticket to the boarding attendant who then returned it to her with a smile and greeting of “have a pleasant flight.” She finally boarded on the plane, looking forward to being back in her own bed and seeing her family. She had no idea what was waiting for her.
Change Of Expression
The flight attended at the plane’s entrance greeted all the boarding passengers with a smile, but when her gaze fell on Harriet, her facial expression completely shifted. With the sour look on her face, she told Harriet there is a problem.
At first, Harriet was confused, thinking that maybe the hostess had confused her with somebody else. She thought that the flight attendant had been rude, but was sure that she had made a mistake. However, the flight attendant persisted.
Quiet But Heated Discussion
Harriet then saw the flight attendant holding a discussion with the other flight attendants on board. In hushed tones, they seemed to be trying to figure something out. Harriet began to get nervous, what could they possibly want from her?
Harriet’s heart raced, with endless thoughts and worries running through her mind. What was going on? After all, she knew she hasn’t done anything wrong. Suddenly, she was being told that she would not be able to board the plane, and Harriet went numb.
Must Be A Mistake
Harriet tried to shake off her feelings of shock in order to clear up what was going on. She insisted that they had confused her with someone else, for she hadn’t broken any rules. The flight attendants once again rushed to confer with one another. Harriet was absolutely terrified at this point.
The Issue At Hand
All of a sudden, the flight attendant began to shield Harriet’s body with her hands. She then exclaimed: “You are not coming onto my plane like that, you need to put a top on.” Harriet stood stunned in disbelief.
At this point, Harriet was getting fed up with the flight attendant’s abrasive and rude tone of voice. She claimed that other passengers had complained about Harriet’s top, but that did not make sense to Harriet at all.
Not Backing Down
Harriet decided that she was going to stand up for herself. She and the flight attendant began engaging in a heated argument, but shortly after, Harriet realized that the flight attendant was relentless and would not give in.
Harriet could not understand how the flight attendant thought other passengers had complained about the top, as Harriet had barely boarded the aircraft. How was anyone offended at this point? She started to suspect that it was the cabin staff who had the issue.
By now, Harriet was completely and totally annoyed by the whole situation. Who were these people to be telling her what she could or could not wear? She decided to take out a sweater from her bag. All she wanted was to get home and see her kids already.
Harriet couldn’t help but notice that by now the commotion had attracted the other passengers’ attention. Many of them were throwing judgmental stares her way as she passed in order to find her seat. She was completely embarrassed by the whole ordeal and felt like she wanted to disappear.
Ready To Move On
Despite the feeling of shame, Harriet tried to focus on the fact that she was finally going home and could put this whole experience behind her. She knew that in a few hours, she’d finally be reunited with her kids.
As she calmed herself down, Harriet slowly started to feel an angry feeling creeping up on her. Who were these flight attendants to decide what was okay and what wasn’t okay for her to wear? There were no rules about dress code, and they had treated Harriet horribly.
Trying To Hold Back
By now, Harriet’s anxiety and humiliation had morphed into full on anger and rage. How dare the flight attendant treat her this way? When Harriet saw the same hostess walk by in the aisle, Harriet had to exercise every bit of her self control not to let out her anger.
Not A Problem Elsewhere
What really irritated Harriet was the fact that none of the other staff working at the airport that she had come across while wearing the same shirt seemed to have any issue with it. This made her become even angrier.
It Wasn’t Over
Harriet was working on calming herself down when she noticed that the flight attendants were once again huddled together and discussing something. She wondered what on earth could be the issue now.
The Saga Continued
The flight attendant started making her way over and Harriet’s anger quickly evaporated, replaced with a feeling of panic. She didn’t know what they wanted this time, as she had complied with their demands by putting a sweater on.
Being Shouted At
Suddenly, Harriet found herself being yelled at by the cabin crew. They were shouting at her to get off the plane. Shocked and confused, Harriet didn’t understand why. She had paid for her ticket and complied with their request to cover her shirt. Why was she being kicked off?
The exchange continued to get more and more heated until the cabin crew brought security personnel in order to have Harriet physically removed for the airplane. Harriet couldn’t fathom what was going on. She couldn’t accept the fact that she wouldn’t get a refund for the $200 flight, and have to spend even more money on another night of accommodation.
The Police Got Involved
To make matters worse, Harriet saw that the police were now being involved. The flight crew had called and told them that Harriet was exhibiting disruptive behavior. In an interview about the ordeal, Harriet shared that at the point she “just burst out crying.”
The Pilot Got Involved
Harriet felt like she was living through a nightmare. Things grew infinitely worse when the pilot came out and started speaking to the flight attendant. He stood with his arms crossed, shooting looks at Harriet while the flight attendant was speaking to him.
Too Little, Too Late
Harriet felt some hope when the police announced that they did not agree with the reason Harriet was being removed from the aircraft. However, it was too late. She had already been taken off the plane and was told she would not be receiving a refund.
Trapped In The Terminal
Harriet was now facing a new nightmare scenario: being stuck at the terminal overnight, as this was the last flight heading to England that day. She also did not have enough money for a second ticket or another night of accommodation at a hotel.
Her Story Spread
Once Harriet finally made it safely back home, the news of her treatment quickly began to make the rounds. All of a sudden, Harriet was fielding phone calls requesting her to be interviewed about her experience. She happily agreed, as she felt her treatment was unjust.
People Weighed In
Once other people began to hear her story, they rushed to defend her. One person shared: “She can wear what she wants… she has to be on the plane with other people’s screaming brats.” Another shared: “Flight stewards are not the fashion police, they are there to assist you.”
Meanwhile, there were some people that chose to side with the airline. One person shared: “Why would any sensible person get on a plane wearing something like that? …she’s not wearing “flying” clothes!”
Myriad Of Opinions
The story sparked a lot of attention, both in support of Harriet and also in support of the flight crew. While many argued that passengers should be able to wear whatever they please on planes, others said that people should be dressed decently while in public. However, most people agreed that the manner in which Harriet was treated was absolutely wrong.
What The Airline Said
The airline in question, EasyJet, released a statement regarding Harriet’s experience. It stated: “We can confirm that a passenger traveling from Málaga to Stansted on 23 June was unable to travel due to behaving disruptively.”
The main question that remains unanswered is that despite the fact that Harriet complied by putting on a sweater and covering up her revealing top, why was she still forcibly removed from the flight? Also, why did she have to be embarrassed like that?
EasyJet’s spokesperson continued by saying: “Our cabin and ground crew are trained to assess all situations and to act quickly and appropriately. We do not tolerate abusive or threatening behavior towards our staff.” It seems as though the airline stood by their staff and did not show any sympathy towards Harriet.
Not The Only Case
Unfortunately, Harriet’s story is not the only one of this kind. What’s worse is the fact that so many women are subjected to this kind of treatment. Another woman who went through something like this was Andrea Worldwide. This is what happened to Andrea…
Business As Usual
Andrea was going through the routine motions of preparing for a flight. She arrived at the airport in Denver, Colorado, fully ready for her flight to Newark, New Jersey on January 13th, 2020. Unfortunately, she had no idea what was waiting for her there…
She Almost Made It
Andrea made it through check in, security, and reached her gate without a snag. She was ready to get on this flight and move on with life, but unfortunately, that would not be the case. Everything went wrong when the passengers were being boarded.
Andrea got up and lined up with the rest of the passengers waiting to get on the aircraft. As she approached the flight attendants, a male employee suddenly stopped her, looking stern. Andrea was confused, as she had no idea what he could possibly want from her.
She Was Confused
All of a sudden, Andrea found herself in a situation where the employee was telling her that her shirt was too low-cut and therefore inappropriate. Andrea’s face burned up with embarrassment and her mind began racing. Was this even allowed?
She Was Scared
Now Andrea was placed in not only a humiliating situation, she was suddenly in a predicament. Would they make her change her shirt? Were they even going to let her on to the plane? All of the horrible possibilities ran through her mind.
Andrea Spoke Out
Andrea decided that she could not stay silent about this abusive treatment. She posted on her Facebook page: “I am a professional woman, who employs hundreds of other young professional women, which is why I have decided to take a stand and speak out about the unacceptable behavior of United Airlines staff. I didn’t want to post this, but given the lack of attention to this issue by United, I am given no other choice.”
Her Reason For Travel
In an interview with CBS Denver, Andrea shared that she travels frequently to Puerto Rico in order to visiter her long-distance boyfriend. She had even received special member status for all of the miles she had travelled with United Airlines.
What Was She Wearing?
Andrea shared that she wore an outfit that she frequently wore, even on other flights, that had never given her any trouble before. She wore a black low-cut neckline top with a bralette underneath, which showed through. She was also wearing a scarf and cardigan.
Andrea said: “For those wondering what ELSE I had on-as friends and family members I contacted did ask me right away-I was also wearing an oversized scarf, a knee-length cardigan, leggings and sneakers.”
In Her Words
Andrea shared her story: “Last week I was denied boarding onto my flight out of Denver by a male United gate agent,’ she wrote. ‘At first I thought it was because I had a ripped ticket, but I later learned that it was because of what I was wearing.”
“‘I didn’t get a reason at first, and then there was a little bit of shuffling going on with the other employees,” Andrea continued. It seems very unfair and unnecessary to embarrass a customer and then leave them in the dark. Eventually, she was finally given a reason.
What They Said
The airline employees explained to her that her top was an issue, but Andrea said that this was only after several of the employees made opposing statements about her outfit. The whole ordeal was confusing, embarrassing, and totally uncalled for.
Andrea also said: “After about 20 minutes, a female supervisor (Monica) arrived and when I asked her for more information about what was going on and why this was happening, she did apologize but also commented to me that my shirt was in fact “too revealing”, which means United’s male gate agent felt it was necessary to protect the other passengers from me, or he wanted me to stick around just a little longer so he could stare at me for his own pleasure…Who knows!”
What Happened Next
So what did end up happening in the end? Did the airline bar her from getting on her flight or was Andrea forced to stay grounded as the plane took off without her? In all the chaos, Andrea had no idea what they would do to her next.
Turning Them Down
After all of the shuffling a confusion, they airline ultimately let Andrea get on the flight despite their initial trepidation about her outfit. They also offered her a $100 travel voucher, which she ended up turning down. Employees even offered to double the amount, but she didn’t want to hear about it.
Why did Andrea decided to turn down the voucher? She explained: “I’m completely humiliated, embarrassed, confused. I feel like all eyes are on me. Two hundred dollars doesn’t even compare to the humiliation that I faced. If another female has to face this, I’d rather get the word out and maybe they’ll choose a different airline.”
What Did The Airline Say?
While speaking with CBS4, a United Airline representative indicated that they were trying to speak with Andrea directly. The statement read: “At United, our goal is for our customers to feel welcome and have a comfortable journey. We are reaching out to our customer to better understand what happened.”
She Felt Angry
Andrea explained that: “during the final step of my Denver airport experience-the actual flight-I had to endure being harassed by someone who decided my attire was too much of a distraction for him to do his job.”
She Demands Change
She continued: “I was singled out for no reason whatsoever other than to be embarrassed and humiliated for how I look. Please help me take a stand and SHARE, friends! Whatever the outcome, I don’t want any other woman to ever go through the hurt, humiliation and harassment that I experienced at the hands of United’s inappropriate staff. United, please DO SOMETHING!”