Deniz Saypinar was stopped from boarding a flight from Texas to Miami on 8 July for her denim shorts — that were considered “too short” — and a small brown tank top. Soon after she was stopped, she took to her Instagram account to vent about the incident.
Ms Saypinar said: “You will never believe what happened to me at Texas Airport.”
Tearfully she narrated the incident to her one million followers. She talked about how the staff allegedly insulted her when they said she was almost “naked.”
“They literally didn’t take me to the plane because they say ‘you’re naked and you offend other families,’” she said.
Ms Saypinar, 26, is a bodybuilder, entrepreneur and social media influencer. The Daily Mail, which first reported this incident, said that she moved from Turkey to Los Angeles to further her bodybuilding career.
She is the first woman from Turkey to have received the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) status. Ms Saypinar is also the first non-US citizen to win the US National Bikini Fitness Competition in 2021, reports said.
On her Instagram, Ms Saypinar said that she had moved to America to “experience freedom” but was shocked by the “ridiculous” behaviour of American Airlines staff. She tearfully said: “I am not naked.”
She continued: “I am an athlete, and now I have to wait here until the morning. I like to wear feminine clothes that reveal my femininity, but I never dress in a way that will offend anyone. I’m mature and civilised enough to know what I can and cannot wear.”
She added that she didn’t deserve to be treated like the “worst person in the world for wearing denim shorts. What separates us from animals if humans can’t control even their most primitive impulses.”
Her followers have supported her. One user said: “It is 2021, and there is still a dress code you have to follow to board a plane, of course, only if you are a woman. This is ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, American Airlines, in a statement, said: “On 8 July, American Airlines denied boarding for a customer travelling from Dallas-Fort Worth to Miami. As stated in the conditions of carriage, all customers must dress appropriately and offensive clothing isn’t permitted on board our flights.”
The spokesperson added: “The customer was advised of our policy and was rebooked on a subsequent flight. The customer has since arrived in Miami.”