In the era where we talk about women empowerment, is it lawful to call a girl ‘pathetic’ and ask her to ‘cover up’? Well, this happened with 21 years old, Emily O’Connor while traveling on Thomas Cook Airlines on March 2.
Emily while traveling with her gang of six, from Birmingham (her hometown) to Tenerife for holiday in the Canary Islands was asked by a crew member of the flight to wear a jacket and ‘cover-up’ as her low-cut top was inappropriate and was, therefore ‘causing offense’. On this, the trainee accountant also claimed that she passed through security check and passport control wearing the same black crop top and orange pants, and ‘no-one’ buzzed or asked her to cover-up until she boarded the plane.
When Emily protested, flight manager and staff came over and threatened her to wear a jacket or else she would be thrown out of the plane. A co-passenger even quoted her as ‘pathetic woman’ and asked her to wear a jacket. While Emily was being humiliated, the crew stood still as a mouse. She stood there dumbstruck and was shaking, after 20 minutes she herself wore her friend’s jacket.
She quoted, “They were going to kick me off the flight and held it for 20 minutes. It wasn’t until I physically put the jacket on that they left.” “It was the most sexist, misogynistic, embarrassing experience of my life. The way they can tell anyone what is or is not appropriate … I could wear that in Birmingham in the street, and I wouldn’t get harassed”, she added.
After having the worst experience of her life, Emily shared this whole incident on Twitter with a series of post explaining the entire incident.
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
The social-media had a mixed reaction to this- one set of people supported Emily and her attire while the other set of people appreciated the airline for the step taken by them.
I’m crew myself and would not think twice to ask you to cover up, there is no policy on what you can and cannot wear! That is awful to see that the crew on board made you feel that way, disgusting!
— Jade Charlotte (@jadecharlottex) March 13, 2019
There were a few who apparently says what the airlines say is correct!
Yes…if the airline say it's inappropriate, then it is….End of story..
— PAO3 (@GboyegaOgunnubi) March 13, 2019
The Thomas Cook Airline issued a statement apologizing – “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 attire 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.”
She also said that there was a man wearing a vest and shorts, and nobody budged and forced him to cover himself.
Well, this is an embarrassing and awful event and definitely questions a lot about the so-called ‘dress code’ of the airlines and is sure to follow some major criticisms to the airlines.