A young woman was left shocked and confused after she claims she was told she would not be able to board her Virgin Australia flight as she was showing “too much skin”.
Catherine Bampton, 23, said she was waiting to board flight VA1447 from Adelaide to the Gold Coast on Wednesday morning when she said she was approached by one of the airline’s ground crew.
The Gold Coast resident said she was “publicly embarrassed” by the female staff member.
“She told me in front of everyone that the pilot was refusing for me to board the plane because of the clothes I was wearing,” Miss Bampton of Palm Beach said.
“I was in so much shock and was so confused because my clothes weren’t revealing.”
Miss Bampton then claimed the crew member asked if she had another top to put on and was asked to wear it.
“It was so embarrassing and humiliating,” she said.
“Everyone else waiting to board the plane was sitting there watching … and you could see they were staring in shock with their mouths open.”
As the university student went to board shortly after, she said she asked the crew member to explain what was wrong with her attire.
According to Miss Bampton, the woman responded saying: “The pilot doesn’t like people showing too much skin.”
“I asked her if you couldn’t show your arms and back and she didn’t know what to respond.”
Miss Bampton was wearing sneakers with high-waisted trousers and a high-necked halter top at the time.
She is now wanting an apology from the pilot and wants the airline to be aware of the situation.
“I don’t want them to do it to other people because they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.”
NCA NewsWire understands that Virgin staff felt the way the “bikini-style top” was being worn was unsuitable for travel.
Minimum dress requirements are listed on Virgin Australia’s website and state guests who do not meet the requirements can be prevented from travelling until they are dressed appropriately.
According to the website, passengers must wear the following in order to board:
- Footwear (thongs are acceptable) – all adults and children who are capable of walking must wear suitable footwear
- Shorts, or a skirt, or pants/trousers – suitable clothing that covers your bottom half
- A shirt (singlets are acceptable)
Virgin Australia is expected to remind frontline team members of its dress code requirements.
“The dress guidelines on our aircraft are similar to other airlines here in Australia and the vast majority of those who fly with us meet or exceed them,” a Virgin Australia Group spokesman said.
“As Australia’s most loved airline, it’s always been our intention that those who travel with Virgin Australia feel welcome and have a comfortable journey.
“We are undertaking a review of the incident, and while no formal complaint has been received by the guest as yet, we’ve proactively tried to reach out to better understand what happened.”