She had been flying for many years, but this was by far the worst she had been treated. All she wanted was to get home to see her children, but the universe had other plans for her.
First, the flight attendants denied her to fly home, and then she was forcibly removed from the plane. And that was all allegedly brought about by the manner she chose to dress.
A Relaxing Holiday
Harriet Osborne, 31, and her friends had taken a well-earned vacation to the South of Spain from very chilly England to catch some sunshine, fresh air, and some much-needed leisure time.
She couldn't wait to see her kids; therefore, she was returning home with presents for her loved ones. She was unable to plan for what happened next, though.
Harriet was relishing her independence and being in a foreign location far from her home. She strolled the lovely beaches in the Spanish sunshine, working on her tan. She finally felt like she could take a break from being a working mother and taking care of her busy home life.
However, she had no idea that her joyous journey would end in misery.
The Costa del Sol, or "coast of the sun," is where Malaga is located in southern Spain. Harriet could understand why the tropical paradise had acquired its reputation, as the beaches were packed with British vacationers.
Harriet and her companions were having a great time and enjoying the freshness of a lovely day and unspoiled beaches to explore, but something felt off to Harriet.
It Was Over
When the time came for her to return to Britain, she realized the holiday was over. She prepared her belongings and was eager to see her kids. Nevertheless, there was still time for one final shopping trip.
She called a cab and went to Av. de Andalucia with her pals to browse the upscale clothing stores. Harriet wasn't aware that this was the start of the most miserable day of her life as she cheerfully browsed while being mesmerized by the Spanish fashion.
Harriet was in El Corte Inglés and stopped when she spotted a nice top displayed in the window. Though the shirt was black and sheer, Harriet's eyes lit up in disbelief as she read the price tag.
She was persuaded to try it on by one of her pals before turning back on her heel and heading for the door in disappointment. It was her first mistake.
Well, she was on vacation. What could possibly go wrong if she tried the blouse? After picking it up, Harriet went to the dressing area. She was stunned by what she saw when she turned to look in the mirror. She looked at the flawless fit and her fresh tan and decided she had to have it, so she bought it with her credit card.
She had no idea that her blouse would be considered too extreme by some.
Harriet and her companions stopped for one last meal in Spain before it was time to say goodbye and head to the airport, with a suitcase in hand and trying not to think about how much her impulsive purchase had just cost her.
Before leaving, she gave the hotel room one last look and discovered the luxury bag sitting on a chair in the corner, accusingly gazing at her. She felt sick to her stomach and had buyer's remorse. Why did she act so impulsively?
Naturally, Harriet had no idea that her next actions would lead to her having one of the most awful evenings of her life. When she bought that adorable top, she crossed an unseen boundary, and now she was going to bear the consequences.
Her split-second decision meant she couldn't fly anywhere tonight. The problem was that she was unaware of it at the time.
Harriet was fundamentally a feminist; she was adamant that a woman should be free to dress however she liked. She wasn't dressed in a way that encouraged unwarranted attention or dirty looks.
She did not; however, risk playing with fire while she was by herself at a gathering or nightclub. But the airport in Malaga was the last place she had anticipated feeling threatened.
Well, she had bought it, and there was no time to return it now. Feeling spontaneous, she pulled the blouse from the bag and tried it on again. It did show off her new tan beautifully. And after all, she was on holiday.
She wouldn’t have to be self-conscious here – she was in a foreign country, and she’d never have to see any of these people again. Or so she thought.
Ready To Board
Feeling confident with her top taped in all the right places, she was determined to make the best of her purchase. She arrived at the airport on time and placed her luggage on the conveyor belt.
She browsed the duty-free store and bought a few more gifts for her loved ones back home before she heard her flight being announced on the loudspeaker. But what happened when she tried to board the plane was enough to make her totally lose it.
The Trouble Begins
When Harriet got to the airport lounge and saw the families waiting in line with their kids, she felt a stab of sadness. But at least she was on her way back – she’d see her children soon. The flight attendant checked her passport and waved her down the tunnel, wishing her a good flight.
But when she reached the airplane door, all hell broke loose.
An air hostess stood at the door, greeting the passengers with a warm smile as they stepped onto the plane. But when she saw Harriet, her face dropped.
Harriet was stunned. What had she done to offend the woman so badly? She was cleared to board this flight, but perhaps they had mistaken her for someone else? Shrugging her insecurities aside, she stepped forward but was stopped abruptly by the stewardess.
What Could Be Wrong?
The stewardess then moved to the other flight attendants, and they began to speak in hushed tones. Harriet was confused – what was going on? Fear began to grow in her chest as another minute passed.
Then, the stewardess who had stopped her sauntered over and told her what the problem was. Harriet was incredulous. Was this some sort of joke?