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Doctor says racism behind airline ‘cover up’ order

July 12, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

American Airlines has apologised and refunded the fare of a woman doctor it allegedly “body shamed” by telling her to wrap herself in a blanket to hide her “assets”.

The doctor, travelling with her eight-year-old son, said she felt the airline had singled her out “for being black” and curvaceous.

Dr Tisha Rowe, 37, said the incident happened two weeks ago on a 30 June 2019 flight to Miami after a family holiday in Jamaica.

Rowe said online she felt body-shamed and humiliated – and has posted a photo on Twitter giving a front and side view of the outfit she was wearing on return from holiday.

Rowe says a black male flight attendant summoned her to the front of the plane, the New York Times reported. There, a black female flight attendant asked if she had a jacket, said “you’re not boarding the plane dressed like that”, asked her to step off the plane, then told her that her outfit was “inappropriate” for the flight.

“When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket,” Rowe tweeted.

Hundreds of people have taken her side, saying passengers wearing far more revealing clothing are allowed on flights.

American Airlines B787 Dreamliners 

Some pointed out that, if there had been a medical emergency on the flight and the captain had asked “Is there a doctor on board?”, Dr Rowe would have been one of those the airline relies on to help.

Rowe’s attempts to defend her outfit did not convince the flight attendant, and after her young son become upset, Rowe said she had no alternative but to wrap a blanket around her waist and return to her seat feeling “humiliated”, the BBC reported.

“To me, there was never an ounce of empathy, an ounce of apology, any attempt to maintain my dignity throughout the situation,” Rowe told Buzzfeed News.

Rowe accused the airline of racial bias and discriminating against her body type. She wrote on Facebook: “I believe the actions were a combination of #racism and #misogyny.”

American Airlines reacted, backing down and saying it had apologised to Rowe and her son and refunded the cost of their travel.

“We were concerned about Dr Rowe’s comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to US media.

“We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Saifuddin Ismailji says:

    Nothing new. It is an irony that over the past few years the Industry has lost the very spirit of fostering a brotherhood of peace and cultural understanding. Particularly the new breed with a no “People’s Person” attitude – their ugliness openly displaying their racist and geo-political agenda including the hospitality sector. What a shame!

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