Yesterday, Shannon Watts—founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America—alerted everyone to a surreal scene as she was about to board her United flight.
The girls were not normal ticketed passengers, as they were flying on United's dime, and therefore were subject to a dress code that United enforces on anyone they deem to be a representative of the company. This is an understandable de jure position, but from a de facto point of view, making a 10-year-old change out of leggings because United paid for her ticket is closer to a police state than the free market.
Who the hell is going to know that United paid for her ticket? Instead of taking the easy way out of this and apologizing for enforcing this standard to a psychotic end, United doubled down and invited all of Twitter to dog pile on their social media team.
Here are the best tweets from that dog pile.
And this last tweet perfectly encapsulates the shitstorm United now finds themselves in.
Bravo United, this was quite the impressive display of tone-deafness and obstinance. For the sake of your executives’ bottom line, you better hope that your stock being down 0.44% as of this writing is unrelated to the swift and unnecessary backlash that your PR and social media teams invited upon the airline.
Jacob Weindling is Paste’s business and media editor, as well as a staff writer for politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.