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OK, so I know this sounds ridiculous, but I couldn't find anything authoritative online about this. And indeed I'm serious.

Is there any official reason to believe it's prohibited to wear a banana hammock on a domestic US flight operated by Southwest?

I couldn't find anything like a dress code published by the airline.

For the uninitiated, this is a banana hammock:

banana hammock

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While digging for an article about the woman kicked off the JetBlue flight this year for wearing the burlesque shorts I found this story Here’s Why JetBlue Can Legally Kick You Off a Plane for Wearing Booty Shorts which has in it:

So what gives Southwest, JetBlue, or any other airline the right to boot you off a flight? It comes down to the “contract of carriage,” a legal document that spells out the rights and responsibilities of the airline and its passengers. Whether you realize it or not, you agree to that contract whenever you purchase a ticket from an airline. In JetBlue’s case, it states that the airline can refuse “persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.” Most other carriers use very similar language.

The story links to the JetBlue Contract of Carriage but as per the quote Southwest will have a similar contract.

So the answer to your question is yes - they can kick you off the flight. But I am guessing that you would't even make it to the gate wearing a mankini.

OK .. found the Southwest Contract of Carriage

  1. Acceptance of Passengers

    a. Refusal to Transport

    (8) Comfort and Safety.

    General. Carrier may, in its sole discretion, refuse to transport, or may remove from an aircraft at any point, any Passenger in any of the circumstances listed below....

    (i) Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.

    (ii) Persons who are barefoot and older than five years of age, unless required due to a disability.

So you could be refused to fly under paras 6 a. (8) (i) and (ii) (the latter if you are not wearing shoes which I don't think Borat(?) did - but that's my assumption!)

Now the fun legal question is if you can be bound by a "contract" that you didn't know existed!

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  • You are absolutely bound by the contract of carriage when you fly. And if you didn't know it existed it's your own fault - you have to click a button saying you agree to it in order to buy your ticket. – Nate Eldredge Aug 18 '16 at 15:07
  • Correct. And even if you could claim that successfully, it would only entitle you to get out of the contract - meaning to not fly. – Aganju Aug 18 '16 at 16:04
  • @NateEldredge The validity of click through agreement is not so clear cut and there have been various court cases about this subject. Besides .. my cat walked over the keyboard and hit the "agree and buy now" buttons. – Peter M Aug 18 '16 at 17:25
  • Well, I'm not aware of any cases in which a court declined to enforce an airline's contract of carriage on the grounds that "clickthrough" wasn't sufficient notice. If there are, I'd certainly find that interesting - but I'd also expect that the airlines would have instantly revised their sites to comply. – Nate Eldredge Aug 18 '16 at 17:34
  • @PeterM digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/… – Andy Oct 10 '16 at 0:56
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I consider myself tolerant, but I would be uncomfortable sitting next to a guy 'dressed' like that. I guess that the majority of other passenger will have stronger feelings about it, and some will voice them unambigously to the airline personnel. Except on a mostly empty flight, chances are probably zero to be allowed.

I also don't get why anyone would want to do that. It seems like simply pushing the limits for the fun of it, competely ignorant of cultural standards and other people's feelings.

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