Fight Breaks Out Over Passenger’s ‘Lewd’ Top, Airline Captain Intervenes

When a fight broke out over an airline passenger’s “lewd” top, the captain was forced to intervene. In an attempt to document the dispute, the passenger flipped on her camera, capturing more than she likely ever anticipated.

Kayla Eubanks, a Chicago resident, found herself entangled in a dispute with Southwest Airlines staff over their dress code policy when she tried to board her flight in a top that was deemed “lewd.” According to Eubanks, she was prevented from boarding her flight because her breasts were deemed “lewd, obscene and offensive,” causing a confrontation in the airport.

With her cell phone camera rolling, an irate Eubanks challenged the staff, asking to see their policy after a ground staffer said her low-cut black halter top was too revealing. She got more than she had asked for, however, when the captain of her flight decided to get involved, and it was all caught on video.

Documenting the dispute, Eubanks took to Twitter. “Y’all I was KICKED OFF my @SouthwestAir flight because my boobs are ‘lewd, obscene and offensive.’ I was told that passengers may look at me in my attire and be offended,” she wrote as she tweeted out a bathroom selfie, showing her ensemble, which including a long red skirt.

“I really wanna know why @SouthwestAir is policing my clothes like this,” Eubanks wrote in another tweet. “How will my shirt impact my flight, for myself, the other passengers or even the pilot?” she asked. “Y’all have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on a plane? It’s the constant policing of women’s bodies for me,” she continued, explaining why she had a problem.

Frustrated over being removed from the flight, Eubanks demanded to see the airline’s dress code. As an employee allegedly searched for Southwest’s policy, Eubanks recorded the exchange with her phone. With just minutes until departure time, Eubanks said the staff member “practically did cartwheels to ensure that I wouldn’t get on this plane y’all. I was held at the gate for 30 minutes because of my shirt.”

As she waited, Eubanks’ annoyance only seemed to grow. “If it’s there, why can’t y’all find it?” she asked the employee, referring to Southwest’s dress code policy. “If it’s there, why don’t y’all know it?” she pressed further. Then, as all of this was unfolding, it captured the attention of the flight’s captain, who had just come out of the bathroom at the gate. What happened next is the real story here. Watch:

After being summoned over by an employee, the captain addressed Eubanks. “They’re hating on you because you’re looking good, is that right?” he asked the obviously frustrated woman, who expressed her annoyance. Explaining that he believed the employee was looking for the policy, Eubanks shot back, telling him they had been looking for it for over 20 minutes and her plane was supposed to leave in five.

The captain quickly reassured Eubanks, saying, “I got you,” and telling her, “Well, I’m here,” referring to the fact that the plane couldn’t leave without him. Then, rather than argue over the policy, he asked whether Eubanks would be willing and able to cover up. “If they’re like, ‘Hey, the rule says you have to cover up,’ do you have something?” he asked, clearly uneasy about the conversation, according to the NY Post.

“Do you have a shirt or do you want me to give you one of mine?” the captain inquired further. Eubanks replied, saying she wanted to see the policy first. “If that’s the rule, what can we do to fix it?” he pressed, reassuring Eubanks that he wanted to get going but didn’t want to leave without her.

“I have to leave my t*ts at home? Obviously not,” Eubanks said, causing the captain to chuckle as he walked off to try to resolve the matter. And, resolve the matter, he apparently did.

“The CAPTAIN of the flight loaned me his shirt so that I could board (having been removed from the flight and the flight being delayed). I eventually took it off,” Eubanks tweeted. “Only to be told that I would have to speak with a supervisor upon landing,” she added, sharing an image of herself seated on the plane in a “Boys of Summer” baseball T-shirt.

After the incident went viral, with Southwest being lambasted for “forcing” the captain to lend the passenger his T-shirt, a spokesperson said the airline had “reached out to [Kayla Eubanks] directly to apologize for her experience and provided a refund of her fare as a gesture of goodwill.” In an email, the airline representative added, “Regarding our policies, each situation is very different, and our employees are responsible for following our Contract of Carriage, available on our website.” Of course, that didn’t sit well with some. Watch:

“According to the material posted online, the company ‘may, in its sole discretion, refuse to transport, or may remove from an aircraft at any point,’ a passenger who engages ‘in lewd, obscene or patently offensive behavior, including wearing clothes that are lewd, obscene or patently offensive,’” the Post explained. Of course, this incident only led to further debate over dress codes. There is something else we should all be talking about, though — and that’s the captain’s handling of the incident.

Rather than engaging in a dispute about who is right and who is wrong, he looked for a compromise and set out to solve the problem. Sometimes, perhaps, we need to ask ourselves, “Is this a fight worth having?” When your flight is about to take off without you, I’d say the answer is no. While her frustrations with the airline and its policy might be warranted, she should be grateful that the captain was more concerned with helping her out than helping the staff prove her wrong. This is how conflict gets resolved. Job well done, sir.