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Burlesque dancer kicked off flight for 'inappropriate' outfit

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle 31/05/2016 KOMO NEWS
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A Seattle burlesque dancer says an airline stripped away her dignity when they told her to change her clothes if she wanted to fly.

The performer, whose stage name is Maggie McMuffin, says she was flying on JetBlue when an airline worker approached and said the pilot decided her shorts were inappropriate. McMuffin says it was her only outfit and offered a compromise.

"I could tie a sweater around my waist," she said. "I could get a blanket from you guys, and they said, 'If you don't change your clothes, you're not going to be able to board this flight.' "

Passengers at SeaTac Airport had mixed reactions to the story. Some travelers, such as Maryanne Garner, said the shorts aren't appropriate for flying.

"I would hate to sit next to someone dressed like that, honestly," she said.

But others, like Kendall Merry, says "to each their own."

"I wouldn't wear them on a plane, but she is welcome to," Merry said.

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A JetBlue spokesperson says, "Our contract of carriage allows JetBlue to deny boarding to any customer whose clothing may be offensive to the viewing public." The spokesperson also said, "we support our crewmembers' discretion to make these difficult decisions."

McMuffin says JetBlue offered to rebook her flight, but instead she ran through the terminal and bought another pair of shorts in order to catch her original flight. After the ordeal, she says she feels disrespected and outraged.

JetBlue offered an apology and a $162 flight credit, but McMuffin thinks the airline should offer sensitivity training to its pilots. She also believes the company should be more clear with its customer expectations.

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