Southwest’s Skirt Reversal Fiasco

September 18, 2007


(image via

So, the story goes something like this. Twenty-three year old college student and Hooters employee Kyla Ebbert is told her outfit is too “skimpy” and is hassled to cover up by Southwest employees on her flight to Tuscon, AZ. Southwest at first refuses to give in and issue a public apology. Then, facing mounting pressure – and a college girl eager to get her 15 minutes by taking the story to Dr. Phil and the Today Show – the company issues an apology, but also includes a mocking press release promoting “mini-skirt” reduced fairs and other jabs.

Meanwhile, Kyla claims Southwest is “exploiting” her but also has no problem showing up to said press appearances in the same revealing outfit.

PRNewser’s unsolicited view: Maybe we’re taking this all a little too seriously, but Southwest’s public ridicule of Kyla (especially since it came directly from the CEO) makes them look like they don’t care about the issue – or worse, they’re trying to profit off of it – when they had a chance to “take the high road.” Also, the release said nothing about correcting the situation so customers wouldn’t be humiliated like this again and did not mention whether or not the responsible employee had been disciplined. Ok, so it’s obvious the woman is looking to get paid and milk this for all it’s worth. Why fuel her fire? Never mind the fact that no one’s mentioning – the flight took place two months ago! What do you think? Speak your mind in the comments or prnewser at


10 Responses to “Southwest’s Skirt Reversal Fiasco”

  1. 99ijneb Says:

    I am thinking of starting an airline encouraging female passangers to dress ‘inappropriately’ and let them fly for a discount whereas male passengers will be paying an ‘upgrade’ in order to enjoy the scenery on the plane!

  2. Miranda Malone Says:

    It’s not fair that Southwest is promoting reduced fares because of this fiasco.

  3. Katie Paine Says:

    I think there was no way that Southwest could have won in this case. They aren’t a cute little start up that everyone gives the benefit of the doubt to any more. They are the single most successful, profitable airline in the country — when you get that big, you’re always going to look like a bully

  4. diane Says:

    Two bad is really too bad.
    Both sides behaved badly and
    unfortunately so because it creates opportunities for idiots to get way too much press.
    Most travelers have very low standards for their attire (especially for air travel) it actually has hurt my retinas to look around a boarding gate.

    Perhaps in anticipation of delays and sleeping in chairs at the airport, people are wearing clothes better suited for cleaning out their garage.

    Fuggedabout it! Too short? How about the too ugly
    tank tops and shorts on men? Or the way too fat to sit in one seat? Too loud? Too smelly without deoderant and don’t forget those who take their shoes off?

    Seriously, I’d better stay home.

  5. jim Says:

    How long before she’s posing for Playboy? By year’s end?

  6. Alyson Says:

    Um, yeah. I think you’re taking this too seriously.

    Part of what you need to understand about Southwest is that the corporate culture is one where there’s a lot of self-deprecating humor, lighthearted jokes and a sort of laid-back public face. The implication that their fare reduction sale is somehow misogynistic is really just silly.

    And let’s be honest here: really, did she NEED to go on Dr. Phil to talk about this? I mean, please. Breastfeeding mom kicked off a plane? That’s a real issue. This girl? Seeking attention and 15 minutes. If there’s a camera, I bet she’ll be there. (See Jim’s comment above.)

  7. timsored Says:

    I don’t even think she’s that cute.

  8. micah6 Says:

    I can’t believe I took time to read this article and postings. To all of us, myself included: go out and get a life. Worry about the state of the world and our Constitution.

  9. Ted Faraone Says:

    Could this be astroturfing?

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