A British woman says she was left ‘shaking’ after Thomas Cook staff threatened to kick her off a flight to Tenerife unless she ‘covered up’.
Emily O’Connor, 21, from Birmingham, was flying to the Canary Island holiday destination on 2 March when she claims airline workers told her that her black crop top and yellow trousers were ‘inappropriate’ and ‘causing offence’ to other passengers.
The holidaymaker was eventually given a jacket to wear by her cousin, after staff allegedly ‘made comments about the situation’ over the tannoy, leaving the young woman ‘shaking and upset’.
Emily added that she wore the same outfit on the journey back to Birmingham, and had ‘no complaints’.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the travel group apologised but pointed to its ‘appropriate attire’ policy which appears in its in-flight magazine.
Emily, who says she was wearing a ‘summer top’ from high street retailer Zara at the time, has won support of social media users including reality star Gabby Allen after tweeting about the incident this week.
Inappropriate? Emily O’Connor was flying to Tenerife on 2 March when she claims Thomas Cook staff told her crop top and trousers were ‘causing offence’ to other passengers (pictured here after landing in Tenerife)
Emily has won support of social media users including reality star Gabby Allen after tweeting about her ordeal this week
According to Thomas Cook’s clothing policy, which appears in the travel group’s in-flight magazine, ‘customers wearing inappropriate attire (including items with offensive slogans or images) will not be permitted to travel unless a change of clothes is possible.’
Speaking about her ordeal, Emily said: ‘Flying from [Birmingham] 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 four flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane.
‘I informed the staff that there is no “appropriate wear” policy stipulated online. I stood up on the flight and asked if anyone was offended, no-one said a word.
‘To top it off they allowed a man [to] hurl abuse at me whilst the flight manager and four air staff stood and said nothing.’
Thomas Cook’s clothing policy
Emily said that she wore the same outfit on the journey back from Tenerife to Birmingham (pictured boarding the flight home) and had ‘no complaints’ from Thomas Cook staff, who she described as ‘friendly’
Emily (far left) enjoying dinner with her friends in the Canary Island holiday destination earlier this month. She said she was told Thomas Cook were conducting a ‘formal investigation’
Emily (second left) on a night out with friends. She jetted to Tenerife earlier this month but claims she was left ‘physically shaking’ after staff told her to ‘cover up’ her outfit
Emily, who says she was wearing a ‘summer top’ from Zara, has won support of social media users including reality star Gabby Allen after tweeting about her ordeal this week
She added: ‘I wore this through the airport [security, passport control etc], boarded the plane, [was] told to cover up by the greeting staff.
‘I was physically shaking, and they could see that, yet they continued to sexualise me and ridicule me. It was the worst experience of my life.’
Responding to her tweet, Love Island star Gabby Allen wrote: ‘It’s safe to say, I will never fly with Thomas Cook again.’
Speaking to MailOnline about her ordeal, Emily said: ‘They said they would investigate but [I have] heard nothing back really.
‘I contacted them this morning where they said they are doing a formal investigation into the flight staff.’
Emily (pictured in a recent Twitter photo) said she was left shaken by the incident. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the travel group pointed to its ‘appropriate attire’ policy
Emily (pictured in a social media snap) has won support of social media users including reality star Gabby Allen after tweeting about the incident this week
Twitter users have rushed to support Emily after she tweeted about her ordeal, with Love Island star Gabby Allen declaring she will ‘never fly with Thomas Cook again’
Another Twitter user added: ‘This woman deserves an explanation and an apology. How can you deem what’s appropriate to wear if there are no rules stipulated? Next time I wear shorts and a vest on a flight, am I causing offence? Should I ‘cover up?”
And after one Twitter user accused Emily of ‘travelling in underwear’ in reference to her cropped camisole, she replied: ‘This was in the @ZARA summer tops section when I purchased this last year.’
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: ‘We are sorry that we upset Ms O’Connor. 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.’