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Passenger left 'shaking' after being told to cover up on Birmingham flight

By Jordan Reynolds | Birmingham | News | Published:

A passenger was left "shaking and upset" when she was told to cover up on a flight from Birmingham to Tenerife.

Thomas Cook has apologised and said it "could have handled the situation better" after Emily O'Connor claimed cabin crew told her she would be removed from the aircraft as her outfit was "inappropriate" and "caused offence".

Miss O'Connor, 21, took to Twitter to complain about how she was treated and posted a picture of what she was wearing - a bralet and high-waisted trousers.

She said the flight manager and four staff surrounded her and threatened to remove her from the plane unless she put a jacket on.

Miss O'Connor, from Birmingham, also said staff "did nothing" when a male passenger shouted at her: "Shut up you pathetic woman. Put a ******* jacket on."

She tweeted: "I was given a jacket by my cousin sitting at the front of the plane and they did not leave until I physically put it on.

"They made comments over the speaker about the situation and left me shaking and upset on my own."

The trainee accountant was sent messages of support on Twitter as she revealed her situation online.

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She claims she was repeatedly asked by cabin crew to cover up – first as she was boarding the plane, and subsequently by a group of the plane’s staff who surrounded her in her seat and claimed her outfit was “inappropriate”.

Accompanied by a photograph of her at the airport before the flight, Miss O’Connor wrote on Twitter: “Flying from Bham to Tenerife, Thomas Cook told me that they were going to remove me from the flight if I didn’t ‘cover up’ as I was ‘causing offence’ and was ‘inappropriate’.

“They had four flight staff around me to get my luggage to take me off the plane.”

She added that when she refused to change what she was wearing, a manager went to get her bag in order to remove her from the flight.

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A spokesman for Thomas Cook said the airline was "sorry" to have upset Miss O'Connor.

He said: "It's clear we could have handled the situation better.

"In common with most airlines, we have an appropriate clothing policy. This applies equally to men and women of all ages without discrimination.

"Our crews have the difficult task of implementing that policy and don't always get it right."

The airline said its policy states customers wearing "inappropriate attire (including items with offensive slogans or images) will not be permitted to travel unless a change of clothes is possible".

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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