Korean producer DJ Soda not allowed to board American Airlines flight due to “offensive” sweatpants

She claimed she was made to take off her pants in front of airline crew

South Korean DJ and producer DJ Soda says she was prevented from boarding an American Airlines flight due to her sweatpants, which she says the airline deemed “inappropriate” and “offensive”.

The musician born Hwang So-hee shared her account of the incident on social media, claiming that she “was forced out of the plane and was harassed to take off my pants in front of the flight crews at the gate”. She said she felt “humiliated” by the incident, which took place Wednesday (April 26) as she was getting ready to fly from New York to Los Angeles.


According to Hwang’s posts on Instagram and Twitter, she was wearing pants sponsored by American streetwear brand RIPNDIP, which had the words “FUCK YOU” printed on them.

“I have never had an issue with wearing this pair of pants before in my many months of touring in North America,” she wrote, “and they did not have any problem with me wearing it at the time of check-in nor when I sat down at my seat.”

Hwang says she was later approached by a staff member before takeoff who instructed her to retrieve her belongings and leave the flight as her pants were “inappropriate” and “offensive”.

She wrote: “I had an important meeting set up in LA on that day, so I could not afford to get off this flight. I pleaded to stay on the flight but was ignored by the staff and the flight attendants. I even offered to get changed but the request was denied. What happened next was horrendous.”

“With my broken fingers, I hardly ended up taking off my pants in front of the whole crew and standing half-naked while they still refused to board me on the flight,” she claimed on Twitter. “They even sarcastically commented that I could have taken off my pants earlier.”


Hwang said that she was then allowed to board the flight after wearing her sweatpants inside out. “I was mortified and trembling in fear for the next 6 hours on my flight back to LA.,” she wrote.

On Instagram, Hwang said that she should have been able to change in a bathroom. She finished her Twitter thread by vowing to boycott the airline in the future.

In a statement to Insider, American Airlines said that its policies “prohibit offensive clothing”.

“During the boarding process for American Airlines Flight 306 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, our team members informed Ms. So-hee of our policies and provided her the opportunity to change out of clothing displaying explicit language,” the statement read. “The customer complied with requests and was allowed to continue travel, as planned, to Los Angeles International Airport.”

This is not the first time American Airlines has made headlines for allegedly denying travellers from boarding due to their attire. In January, model and social media influencer Olivia Culpo was told to “cover up” her outfit of a cardigan, sports bra and biker shorts, or she would not be allowed to fly.

In 2019, former Danity Kane member Aubrey O’Day was reportedly told to “remove her shirt” and flip it inside-out in front of other passengers in order to fly, per an LA Times report.

DJ Soda has performed at several large scale music festivals in Asia, including the Borneo Music Festival in April 2020, TNT Music Festival in Bangkok in 2018, S2O Songkran in Taiwan in 2019 and Sundown Festival in Singapore in 2019.