Latisha “Tisha” Rowe, a Houston family medicine doctor, was boarding an American Airlines flight to Miami on June 30 when flight attendants asked her and her son to step off the plane to talk.
Rowe told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday that a female flight attendant asked her several times whether she had a jacket, and when she asked why, the woman told her that “you are not getting on the plane dressed like that.”
Rowe was wearing a colorful romper that was strapless but she said that nothing inappropriate was exposed and she took to social media to prove it.
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“Here is what I was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover-up.” When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies”
Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover up”. When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies pic.twitter.com/AYQNNriLcq
— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd) July 1, 2019
Rowe said her son was so humiliated by the incident that he cried and covered himself with the blanket once they eventually sat down on the American Airlines flight.
“My shorts covered EVERYTHING but apparently was too distracting to enter the plane,” she said in a separate tweet.
“We are policed for being Black. Our bodies are over-sexualized as women and we must ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable. I’ve seen white women with much shorter shorts board a plane without a blink of an eye. I guess if it’s a ‘nice ass’ vs a @Serena Booty it’s okay…” she tweeted.
An American Airlines spokesperson told CNN that they fully refunded Rowe for the tickets and apologized. They also said that they are planning to hire a chief inclusion and diversity officer.
This is not the first time that American Airlines has had trouble with racism and bias.
American Airlines ordered all of its employees to take anti-racism training after the NAACP issued a travel advisory in October 2017 warning African American travelers that the airline “could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”
That travel advisory was lifted in July 2018.