Airline fined €28,000 for denying boarding to passenger due to her low-cut top

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 21-06-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: La Provincia / Vueling
Airline fined €28,000 for denying boarding to passenger due to her low-cut top

Vueling, one of Spain's most popular airlines, has been fined €28,000 by the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) following a complaint by FACUA Consumers Association after a passenger was denied boarding because of her low-cut top and ‘cleavage’ on show.

The incident took place at Mallorca Airport when a passenger was attempting to board a flight to Barcelona. A ground crew member from Vueling prevented her from boarding, citing that her top was "too low-cut." Despite protests from other passengers, the woman was not allowed to board the plane.

FACUA expressed satisfaction with the penalty imposed on Vueling, though they argued that fines should be higher, especially considering the airline's significant revenue and profits.

Accusations of Discrimination:

FACUA labelled Vueling's decision as discriminatory and sexist, pointing out that no regulations prohibit boarding based on a passenger's attire as long as it does not disrupt public order. The association presented the case to AESA, arguing that the passenger's rights had been violated and she had been left defenceless.

AESA imposed the €28,000 fine on Vueling for violating several articles of Law 21/2003, dated July 7, concerning Aviation Safety. The fine also referenced Articles 14.2 and 4 in relation to Articles 7, 8, and 9 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council, which establish common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays.

This case highlights ongoing issues of gender discrimination and the need for clear policies that respect passengers' rights.