Now that their bailout money has run out, Southwest Airlines is facing the same dilemma as most of its competitors. With air travel volume still at barely a trickle compared to pre-plague levels, they’ll either need to start laying off large numbers of workers or find some other way to cut costs. They’ve already asked workers to take pay cuts, but the unions are balking at that idea. No matter which way they wind up going, we can probably expect to see a decrease in the quality of service that travelers receive.

That phenomenon may already be showing up at some airline terminals, or at least in Chicago. One woman who was attempting to board a flight on Tuesday received an unpleasant surprise when she was informed by the agent at the gate that she would not be allowed to board her flight. But this wasn’t some security concern or even a refusal to wear a facemask. The attendant told the woman that the halter-top shirt she was wearing was too revealing and was “lewd, obscene and offensive.” (NY Post)

A Southwest Airlines passenger said she was prevented from boarding her flight because her breasts were deemed “lewd, obscene and offensive” — forcing the captain to lend her his T-shirt.

Irate Chicago resident Kayla Eubanks took to Twitter to document her dispute on Tuesday with ground staffers who said her low-cut black halter top was too revealing.

“Y’all I was KICKED OFF my @SouthwestAir flight because my boobs are ‘lewd, obscene and offensive.’ I was told that passengers may look at me in my attire and be offended,” Eubanks tweeted along with a bathroom selfie showing her ensemble, which included a long red skirt.

The pilot of the plane was apparently sympathetic to Eubanks’ plight and loaned her one of his t-shirts to wear so she could make her (now-delayed) flight.

Here’s one of the series of tweets that Ms. Eubanks sent out with a selfie showing the “lewd” shirt in question.

Here’s another with the video she recorded of the gate employee trying to find a reference to their policy on attire. (No such policy was located.)

I’m obviously no expert on women’s fashions (or men’s either, for that matter) but if this is really a policy that Southwest Airlines has on the books, it needs a fresh look. I’ll grant you that the halter-top Eubanks was wearing is obviously a bit on the revealing side, but you can see far more revealing garb on both ladies and men any time you go to the beach or the swimming pool. And her skirt reached nearly to the floor. You’d have to be seriously prudish to describe the woman’s outfit as obscene or offensive.

Besides, isn’t air travel enough of a massive pain in the backsides these days as it is? If you’re not worried about catching the plague from your fellow travelers in the plane’s cramped confines, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping the damned thing won’t just fall out of the sky. And that’s assuming you’re able to actually book a flight to begin with. Southwest slashed 35,000 flights in October as compared to last year, and more flights will require one or more layovers along the way.

Whether you’re a fan of Ms. Eubanks’ sartorial choices or not, the woman’s “private areas” were all covered and there was no reason she shouldn’t have been able to board the plane. Southwest should be issuing an apology and a voucher for a free flight rather than scrambling to identify some policy that allows their gate attendants to act as the fashion police.