United says passengers can wear leggings on its planes

Leggings are ok, provided you're not receiving a company perk.

United has said that leggings are acceptable attire for traveling on its planes – provided you're not taking advantage of a company perk.

The airline came in for huge criticism on Twitter Sunday when a passenger tweeted three girls had been told to change out of their leggings before getting on a plane to Minneapolis.

Two of the girls didn't have a change of clothes, and reportedly had to miss the flight.

United responded initially that the girls had broken the airline's dress code, a response that provoked a fair bit of anger Sunday afternoon, before providing further clarity about why leggings were not allowed in this instance.

That's because the girls were flying as "pass riders," meaning they were relatives or friends of a United employee, who as such get to fly either for free or at heavily discounted rates.

United says people flying on these tickets "are considered representatives of United" and as such the dress code is stricter.

"To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome," the company added.

Despite the clarification, it's been a pretty terrible 24 hours for United from a PR standpoint. The furor whipped up on Sunday was picked up by those in the entertainment industry including Sarah Silverman, who has vowed to switch her chosen airline when she tours.

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