United Airlines has said regular-paying flyers are welcome to wear leggings aboard its flights, even though two teenage girls were barred by a gate agent from boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because of their attire.
An airline spokesman said that the girls were travelling on Sunday under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code.
The move sparked a wave of online criticism against United Airlines.
Comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted that she would change her United flight bookings to other airlines for a tour next month because of the leggings issue.
Chicago-based United Airlines sought to clarify its stance in a post on its website late on Sunday titled, "To our customers ... your leggings are welcome!"
The post said employees are "regularly reminded" about its dress code.
One of United's competitors, Delta, had some fun with the controversy on Monday, tweeting: "Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings.)"