While on their way to Disney World, Emma Raikes and her family were turned away from a lounge at Manchester Airport simply because they were wearing personalized Minnie Mouse T-shirts. Jane Walshaw, Emma’s mother, claims to have spent more than $900 for the Aspire Lounge at Terminal One on August 14.
Aspire Lounge staff told the family that they would only be allowed in if they agreed to cover up the shirt. Emma told Manchester Evening News that she and her family were “extremely disappointed” at the hassle faced when trying to enter the lounge they had paid for.
“We are on a familymoon to Disney and did not think a Minnie Mouse T-shirt with our names on it would be seen as offensive. It was a disappointing start to our holiday.” Raikes had even tweeted at the lounge to say: “Being told you are not allowed in the @AspireLounge in T1 MAN with a 2-year-old as you have Minnie Mouse and name printed on a t-shirt —poor.”
The lounge’s website states that they do not allow clothing such as (but not limited to): “Vest tops for men, Football/Rugby Team Shirts, Clothing with offensive slogans, baseball caps, tour shirts, fancy dress, onesies or ostentatious Christmas jumpers.”
Considering the Minnie Mouse shirts don’t fit into any of these categories, there was no reason for the family to be told to remove them or cover them up to access the lounge. Swissport, which owns and operates the lounge, has addressed a formal apology to the family and claimed that the staff would be “re-educated” on the dress code to “ensure this does not happen again.”
A spokesman told the Manchester Evening News that “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.”
The family was travelling with a two-year-old who was reportedly cranky and crying as she was hungry and they still were unable to be let in until their shirts were covered. “They eventually let us in,” Raikes said. “But only once we put jumpers on.” The spokesman for Swissport offered a sincere apology and encouraged the family to contact them directly so the matter could be officially solved.
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