After a category five Twitter storm Sunday morning, United Airlines is trying to clear the air that passengers are allowed to wear the stretchy, tight-fitting pants.
Two girls were told that leggings weren't allowed on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis Sunday morning, a United spokesperson said.
"They were flying under the employee pass travel privilege," said Johnathan Guerin.
Employee passes carry a different set of rules, since those travelers are flying as representatives of the company, Guerin explained.
The dress code does not apply to passengers who are not flying with the employee privilege. The girls changed and were allowed to board.
Twitter users were still outraged.
I have flown united before with literally no pants on. Just a top as a dress. Next time I will wear only jeans and a scarf.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 26, 2017
Some users said even if the girls were flying with an employee pass, the boarding agent should've ignored the rules.
@united Leggings are business attire for 10 year olds. Their business is being children.— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 26, 2017
The dress code bars pass travelers from wearing spandex or Lycra pants such as leggings. The teenagers agreed to change their clothing and take a later flight, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said, but the airline's actions sparked a quick backlash on Twitter.
Activist Shannon Watts of Denver tweeted that she witnessed Sunday's events and questioned United's decision to police women's clothing.
Watts said the girl's father was allowed to board while wearing shorts and called the airline's policy sexist.
Regularly ticketed passengers are not subject to the same dress code and can wear leggings, Guerin said.
Chicago-based United sought to clarify its stance in a post on its website late Sunday titled, "To our customers ... your leggings are welcome!"
The post said employees are "regularly reminded" about its dress code.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)