A U.K. mother was in an airport preparing to fly to Florida with her family when airline staff stopped them for not abiding by the lounge dress code.
The incident occurred at a Manchester Airport on Aug. 14. Emma Raikes, 33, and her family were stopped when trying to enter the airport’s Aspire Lounge wearing personalized Minnie Mouse T-shirts, BBC News reported.
Raikes said that at first, airport security delayed her family’s entrance to the lounge because the booking was made in her mother’s name.
“Nothing was said about our clothes at this time,” Raikes told BBC News.
Raikes was traveling to Disney World for a two-week vacation with her husband, her sister, her 2-year-old niece, her mother and her mother’s partner. They were eventually told by staff that they could not enter the lounge because their Minnie Mouse T-shirts did not fit the lounge dress code.
Raikes then suggested covering up their Minnie Mouse T-shirts with jumpers and cardigans. The group was granted access afterwards.
Swissport’s lounge dress code prohibits tour shirts, sportswear and fancy dress.
“The fact a man and young boy walked straight in after us wearing Manchester United tops made us feel like it was just us that had been pulled up, which made us feel targeted,” Raikes said.
“This was not sportswear or T-shirts with offensive slogans,” she added.
Swissport issued a statement shortly after the incident occurred, and apologized to the family, saying staff misinterpreted the dress code. The statement read:
On this specific occasion, the member of staff who dealt with the family was wrong to have asked them to cover their [personalized] T-shirts and has misinterpreted the dress code which is designed to ensure a comfortable atmosphere for all guests within our network of lounges.
We sincerely [apologize] to the family for this genuine mistake and would encourage them to contact us directly to resolve this matter.
The entire team at Manchester Aspire Lounge will be re-educated on the dress code to ensure this does not happen again.
But for Raikes, the damage was already done. She expressed her frustration to the Manchester Evening News: “It was a disappointing start to our holiday … My niece was grumpy and crying as she was hungry … We were boiling and the lady on the desk wasn’t even nice about it. We have been in the escape lounge twice before which is lovely and never had any issues.”