A Seattle burlesque performer is at the center of media attention after JetBlue crewmembers stopped her from boarding a plane due to the length of her shorts.

Share story

A Seattle burlesque performer made national news when she was stopped from boarding a JetBlue plane after the airline deemed her shorts to be too short.

The woman, who goes by the stage name Maggie McMuffin, was boarding a flight in Boston’s Logan airport on May 18, when she was told her shorts were too teeny tiny to be appropriate for the airplane. A friend of hers, Molly McIsaac, posted photos of the performer’s outfit on Facebook, which consisted of a white sweater with a tiger on the front, the offending striped shorts and matching over-the-knee leggings.

Though she’d made it through security, and had flown to Boston from New York, it wasn’t until she was about to board that she was stopped by flight attendants, who told her to change or else she wouldn’t be allowed to board.

After the airline turned down her offer to tie a sweater over her waist, McMuffin forked over $22 for sleep trunks from an airport gift shop and made her way back to Seattle, but not without first causing a small firestorm of media attention. Her story has been picked up by ABC News, Forbes, and CBS Local, among others. (While the airline had a problem with the shorts, it should be noted, TV news didn’t, and aired photos of her wearing them.)

It even garnered her a “hot take” on Salon, with the headline: “JetBlue’s unwritten dress code for women: Airline’s issue with shorts exposes a serious flaw in employee ‘discretion.’ “

The airline offered her a $162 flight credit and reimbursement for the new pants.

Representatives told Salon: “The gate and onboard crew discussed the customer’s clothing and determined that the burlesque shorts may offend other families on the flight. While the customer was not denied boarding, the crewmembers politely asked if she could change. The customer agreed and continued on the flight without interruption. We support our crewmembers’ discretion to make these difficult decisions, and we decided to reimburse the customer for the cost of the new shorts and offered a credit for future flight as a good will gesture.”

The performer was on her way to a photoshoot out of town and couldn’t be reached for further comment.