A woman was banned from boarding a Southwest flight for causing 'disruption.' She says she was defending a passenger being 'slut-shamed.'

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A woman was banned from boarding a Southwest flight for causing 'disruption.' She says she was defending a passenger being 'slut-shamed.'
Melinna Bobadilla said she defended a woman who was being "slut shamed" for wearing a tank top on a flight.Cristóbal Alvarado Minic/Getty Images
  • A woman said she was taken off a Southwest Airlines flight on Monday.
  • Melinna Bobadilla said she was defending a woman who was "slut-shamed" for wearing a tank top.
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A woman said she was banned from boarding a Southwest Airlines flight from Sacramento to Burbank after she defended another passenger who was being "slut-shamed" for wearing a corset-style tank top.

Melinna Bobadilla, an actor who appeared on "Gentefied" and "Orange Is the New Black," posted a thread of tweets on July 11 where she said she was "pulled off" a flight because she "advocated for a young woman being shamed and harassed by an employee for wearing a tank top that was deemed too revealing."

Bobadilla said an airline employee told her that some passengers might find the woman's outfit "offensive" because it is a "family company."

Southwest Airlines confirmed to Insider that an incident occurred on July 11 and that Bobadilla was banned from boarding the flight for "continued disruptive behavior."

A spokesperson for Southwest told Insider: "On Monday, a Southwest employee discretely resolved a situation with a customer prior to boarding. Then, unprompted, a separate passenger began expressing her opinion about the situation and directing negative comments toward Southwest employees and other customers. After multiple Southwest employees attempted to deescalate the situation with the separate passenger, the airline denied boarding to the individual for continued disruptive behavior. All other customers traveled on the flight as scheduled."

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The spokesperson added: "Although passenger disagreements may arise at times, we do not tolerate any form of harassment or unruly behavior aimed at our employees or customers as we keep safety our primary focus at all times."

Twitter users said they agreed with Bobadilla, calling the incident "unprofessional" and "demeaning" towards women.

On July 13, Bobadilla tweeted that she had taken the matter up with the airline's customer services department. Bobadilla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

A 22-year-old woman named Jacy, who asked that Insider not reveal her last name, posted a TikTok on July 12, in which she could be seen sitting on an airplane, with an on-screen caption that read, "bro I got dress coded on a Southwest flight? Are we in Highschool? Are you upset about my shoulders?" and went on to say, "some sweet lady stuck up for me and then got kicked off the flight."

@maybejacy give me my money back smelly hoes @Southwest Airlines or send me a bottle of expensive champagne #fyp ♬ life support mashup by mvlfoy - toukass

In a subsequent TikTok, Jacy confirmed Bobadilla intervened, calling her "my angel."

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Jacy told Insider she was about to board the plane when an airline employee told her to "cover up," causing Bobadilla, who she did not know personally at the time, to defend her. "I so appreciate her sticking up for me. Women supporting women is what we need more of."

She added that she felt "embarrassed" by how the airline employee treated her.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous that women have to deal with things like this on a daily basis," she said. "I just don't see what was wrong with my outfit."

Women have gone viral on TikTok in the past for sharing stories of being criticized for their clothing on flights. Last August, a woman told Insider an Alaska Airlines flight attendant made her feel "degraded" and "ashamed" after she boarded a flight wearing a crop top. In October 2020, Southwest Airlines issued a refund and apology to a woman after she posted a Twitter thread saying she was stopped from boarding a flight due to her outfit, as reported by The Hill.

While Southwest's contract of carriage makes no mention of dress codes, its instructions for passengers flying on its guest pass program — a flexible coupon-based package where seats are allocated on a standby basis — advise that passengers are expected to "dress to impress" and "present a clean, well groomed, and tasteful appearance."

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For more stories like this, check out Insider's Digital Culture team coverage here.

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