Woman almost removed from Delta Airlines flight for not wearing a bra

'I don't need miles or an apology, I need Delta to be interested in the safety of their passengers,' the woman told Yahoo.

A New Zealand ex-pat was allegedly told she could not fly on a Delta Airlines flight in the US because she was not wearing a bra under her shirt.

DJ and business owner Lisa Archbold had attended the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City and was flying black to San Francisco on January 22 when, after "every single person" had boarded the plane, a ground crew member "loudly" announced she needed to speak to Lisa in private.

"Keep in mind this flight was an hour and a half long so I was not going to be out of my seat again," Lisa told Yahoo News Australia. "So whatever offence she was pretending was happening from my nipples, she had just created that offence again, so it wasn’t logical — it was humiliation."

Left image of the baggy outfit Lisa wore to her Delta Airlines flight. Right image of Lisa DJing.
Kiwi DJ and business owner Lisa Archbold says she was told the outfit she was wearing (left) was 'offensive' by Delta staff because she was not wearing a bra. Source: Supplied

Lisa claims the female crew member took her off the plane where she scolded her for her "offensive attire" she labelled as "revealing". Lisa, who was wearing a "baggy", white shirt and pants was shocked. "After this long speech, she tells me she would allow me to stay on the flight if I put on my jacket."

Salt Lake City was "unseasonably" warm at the time so she had two jackets with her that she had taken off while in the airport. After putting her jacket back on to "cover" up, Lisa re-boarded the flight.

As Lisa was disembarking the plane on the other end, she passed on feedback to the male head flight attendant, calling the treatment "discrimination". "He replied verbatim, 'Our official policy on Delta Airlines is that women must cover up'," she said. "It’s pretty gross."

Identifying as queer, Lisa believes this is one of the reasons why she was unfairly singled out in this situation. "I looked like a girl who didn't care about being dressed like one."

Delta Airlines 'sent an apology' to passenger

Lisa says the airline has emailed an apology but has "stopped short of admitting any wrongdoing". "I don't need miles or an apology, I need Delta to be interested in the safety of their passengers," she said.

"The dress code is extremely subjective. Subjective policies are easy vessels of abuse. They are easy to shift. Let’s make everyone more safe."

Yahoo has contacted Delta Airlines for comment and is yet to receive a response.

What is Delta Airlines' dress code?

Delta Airlines do not have a dress code per se but under their domestic and international contract of carriage, "Rule 7" states the airline reserves the right to remove passengers when they are "barefoot" or "the passenger’s conduct, attire, hygiene or odour creates an unreasonable risk of offence or annoyance to other passengers."

As a comparison, Qantas have "dress guidelines" for Qantas lounges but under their conditions of carriage do not specify anything related to clothing, so long as the passenger complies with local laws.

Aussie women told to 'cover up' by Australian of the Year nominee

Female attire has been under scrutiny recently. This week, the founder of a youth charity penned a letter to Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate to ban G-string bikinis after noticing many females — both teens and adults — attending his charity events in a bikini with their "bums out".

Speaking on 2GB radio, Grace said men in Budgy Smugglers are not "particularly erotic" but women who wear small bikini bottoms were "demeaning" and "cheapening" themselves. Many have pushed back against the man's opinions, while some have thanked him for calling out the "gross" fashion trend.

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