UoB student asked to ‘cover up’ and threatened with removal from aircraft by staff on a flight to Tenerife
Emily O’Connor received abuse from a fellow passenger when she refused to put a jacket on
A University of Birmingham student has described her experience onboard a Thomas Cook flight which saw her asked to cover up more, despite apparently not offending anyone.
Emily O'Connor, a 21 year old student, was wearing a crop top and high-waited trousers when she boarded the plane. She has since seen her tweet go viral after she called out the staff onboard her flight from Birmingham to Tenerife for choosing to "sexualise and ridicule me".
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
She described her experience of going through security and passport control with no comments or intervention, before boarding the plane and being asked to cover up by the greeting staff.
She was then told by the flight manager and four flight staff that she would be removed from the aircraft unless she put a jacket on. After she asked the rest of the flight if they were offended by her clothing, the manager went to find her bag to remove her from the flight.
This was when a fellow male passenger confronted Emily with verbal abuse, telling her “Shut up you pathetic woman. Put a fucking jacket on”. Emily stated that the staff said nothing to him. Emily was given a jacket by her cousin and the staff would not leave her until she put the jacket on.
She took to Twitter and received support from many, and her following poll found that 86 per cent agreed it was "appropriate flying wear".
Emily has since described the incident as "the worst experience of my life".
Love Island's Gabby Allen has come out in support of Emily, tweeting "It's safe to say, I will never fly with Thomas Cook again."
It’s safe to say, I will never fly with Thomas Cook again. 🤦🏼♀️
— 🔅GABBY ALLEN🔅 (@gabbydawnallen) March 12, 2019
Speaking to BBC News, a Thomas Cook spokesman said the airline was "sorry" to have upset Miss O'Connor.
He said: "It's clear we could have handled the situation better.
"In common with most airlines, we have an appropriate clothing 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."
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