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A family traveling through Manchester airport was refused entry to a private lounge for wearing Minnie Mouse T-shirts.
Jane Raikes had booked space for herself and seven other family members at the Aspire Lounge in Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport, costing the family a whopping £700 (about $900 USD). They planned to stay in the lounge before their nine hour and 30 minute international flight to Florida for a vacation to Disney World.
Each family member had a Minnie Mouse shirt with his or her name, “Florida 2017,” and the word “Familymoon” written on them. Emma Raikes, Jane’s daughter, was shocked and disappointed by being turned away by the lounge.
“We were extremely disappointed at the hassle we faced when trying to enter the lounge we had booked. We are on a familymoon to Disney and did not think a Minnie Mouse T-shirt with our name on [it] would be seen as offensive. It was a disappointing start to our holiday,” she said to the Manchester Evening News.
The group was allowed access only after they agreed to wear something to cover their shirts.
According to the Aspire Lounge’s dress code, guests may not wear “vest tops for men, football or rugby shirts, clothing with offensive slogans, fancy dress, or onesies.”
“I wouldn’t mind but a Minnie Mouse T-shirt…is not offensive in any way. My niece was grumpy and crying as she was hungry. It’s not like we were a stag or hen party,” Emma Raikes added.
A representative for Swissport, which owns the lounge, submitted a statement to The Independent, saying, “our lounges do have a dress code in which we allow guests to wear a myriad of smart casual items and disallow other items such as tour shirts, sportswear, and fancy dress.”
“On this specific occasion, the member of staff who dealt with the family was wrong to have asked them to cover their personalized T-shirts and has misinterpreted the dress code, which is designed to ensure a comfortable atmosphere for all guests within our network of lounges. We sincerely apologize to the family for this genuine mistake and would encourage them to contact us directly to resolve this matter.”
The company added that the Aspire Lounge team will be “re-educated” on the company dress code.