Teens barred from United flight because they were wearing leggings

A United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Newark, N.J. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, United Airlines abruptly replaced its CEO as a federal investigation continued into whether the airline gave preferential treatment to a former chairman of the agency that operates the New York-area airports who has political ties to New Jersey Gov. and presidential candidate Chris Christie. United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that Jeffery Smisek and two other senior executives had stepped down. Oscar Munoz, a railroad executive and head of United's audit committee, was named CEO and president. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

DENVER (AP) — Two teenage girls were barred by a gate agent from boarding a United Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis because they were wearing leggings.

United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the girls were not allowed onto the Sunday morning flight because they were traveling under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code.

That dress code bars pass travelers from wearing spandex or lycra pants such as leggings. Guerin says the teenagers agreed to change their clothing and take a later flight.

The airline’s actions sparked a backlash on Twitter. Activist Shannon Watts of Denver tweeted that she witnessed Sunday’s events and questioned United’s decision to police women’s clothing.

Guerin says ticketed passengers are not subject to the same dress code and can wear leggings.