‘Shortgate’ row upsets holiday teen

Alix Townsend before her holiday to Majorca. The 18-year-old was forced to get changed by a flight desk attendant after her clothing was branded inappropriate
Alix Townsend before her holiday to Majorca. The 18-year-old was forced to get changed by a flight desk attendant after her clothing was branded inappropriate
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A Fylde teenager forced to change her clothes at an airport check-in desk today hit out at the online attacks she received for revealing her story.

Alix Townsend, 18, of Willowmead Park, near Wrea Green, contacted a national newspaper after being told by Monarch Airlines her clothing was too revealing and being forced to change in front of other passengers. But she has been left stunned by an online backlash.

More than 1,000 people commented on her story and Alix, a former Kirkham Grammar School student, said: “People have accused me of wanting a modelling contract or attempting to get my own 15 minutes of fame – I was very disappointed and upset by what people said about me.

“At the end of the day, I wanted to highlight the poor customer service of the airline.”

The teenager was at Manchester Airport with a group of friends for a trip to Majorca when her ordeal began.

She said: “As I went forward, the woman behind the counter said ‘you can’t fly like that’. I was distraught – I was so embarrassed.”

She claims she was not allowed to go to the toilets to change and was left in tears amid claims she was told to strip by the check-in desk.

She added: “When I asked if I could go to the toilet to change, she made me change in front of everyone. I was worried I might not be able to fly if I didn’t get changed. I was just so upset.

“At check-in there were about 90 to 100 people behind me – my concern was if I didn’t get changed they would stop me flying.

“Apparently, and I did not hear this, but my friends told me after, someone from a family said something like ‘have you not got any decency?’”

Despite complaining to the airline, a Monarch spokesman denied Alix was told she could not go to the toilets to change, adding: “Miss Townsend was politely asked to change to comply with the airline’s dress policy. We do not believe there are grounds for complaint.”

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