Wearing Leggings to the Airport Could Be More Controversial Than We Thought

Emma Spedding

Thanks to the athleisure trend, leggings have become so much more than an item reserved for working out. The likes of Hailey Baldwin, Gigi Hadid and Lily-Rose Depp do everything in their yoga pants, from coffee runs to shopping, so it's no surprise they have become an airport style staple too. But earlier this week, a social media storm broke out after it emerged that two passengers were stopped from flying on United Airlines because they were wearing leggings.

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On Sunday, two teenage girls were boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis and were told to change or put dresses on over their leggings. The incident sparked a debate on social media when a fellow passenger, Shannon Watts, tweeted: "A @United gate agent isn't letting girls in leggings get on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?"

United says this "no leggings" rule does not apply to all passengers but instead to "pass travellers," who are United employees or family members travelling on standby. Jonathan Guerin, a spokesman for United, said these passengers were "representing" United, and so they are not allowed to wear spandex or Lycra leggings, ripped jeans, crop tops or anything too revealing as part of its dress code.

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"It's not that we want our standby travellers to come in wearing a suit and tie or that sort of thing," he said, according to The New York Times. "We want people to be comfortable when they travel as long as it's neat and in good taste for that environment."

"To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome," the airline said in a statement. Chrissy Teigen had perhaps the best reaction, tweeting: "I have flown United before with literally no pants on. Just a top as a dress. Next time I will wear only jeans and a scarf."

Here at Who What Wear UK, we believe leggings can be worn in good taste—these 20 pictures prove they have been popular forever, with everyone from Princess Diana to Audrey Hepburn wearing a pair of the divisive trousers.

So what makes a winning airport look? See four A-list in-transit outfits we want to copy for our next flight.

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