A woman on an American Airlines flight headed to Miami experienced a bit of her own turbulence before takeoff when she was briefly removed from the plane due to her “inappropriate” outfit.
On June 30, Texas native and family physician, Tisha Rowe, was boarding a flight from Kingston, Jamaica with her son when she was approached by a flight attendant who asked to speak with her off the plane. She was told she would need to “cover up” and threatened with not being able to board the flight unless she “walked down the aisle covered in a blanket.”
Understandably upset, Rowe took to Twitter with the story, even showing off pictures of the front and side of her so-called “inappropriate” attire.
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
She also shared to Facebook a heartbreaking picture of her son on board the flight who was clearly affected by this ridiculous occurrence saying her son was “in tears with the blanket they asked me to wear to my seat over his head and will never forget this experience.”
As Rowe makes mention of above, it’s hard not to draw the “race card,” questioning if this would even have been an issue for a white woman boarding the plane with a similar outfit?
As you can imagine, Twitter users have come to Rowe’s defense and have torn American Airlines to shreds– many, of course, also pointing out racial discrimination.
I bet if it were a skinny white girl in a miniskirt it would have been fine.— Natasha Millikan (@usmousie) July 1, 2019
WHAT!? You look fine! Since when is there a dress code for flying??— Ashley D. (@MsAshleyDevonna) July 1, 2019
I see white girls with their who ha hanging out on flights to Vegas hammered all the time nothing!— shea (@loveincocoshea) July 2, 2019
This is incredibly upsetting. Since when did the airlines decide it was their staff’s job to police the “appropriateness” of your dress? If you are dressed, that should be enough.— Irene Tien MD FACEP (@IreneTienMD) July 1, 2019
I promise you I will never use AA again!EVER!!!— Bring back decency!!!✌🇺🇸 (@dannsdad) July 9, 2019
So, when did @AmericanAir become Saudi Arabia?— NightShade 👤 (@NightShade31415) July 2, 2019
Some users argue that it’s not so much about her clothes that were the issue as much as it was her body and that American Airlines ought to be ashamed.
Her outfit isn’t their issue. Her body is. Here is the same outfit on someone built like a pencil. I highly doubt she would be removed from a flight. pic.twitter.com/bcUteClJDG— Ginger (@YummyGingerSnap) July 9, 2019
You look great! Fun vacay outfit. I’m sure if my skinny little white butt had that on nothing would’ve been said. The absolute constant shaming of women’s bodies, especially women of color is completely unacceptable. Power, peace, and ❤️ to you and your son, Dr Rowe!— Tara TRex 🦖♥️🦖 (@tarassexton) July 1, 2019
@AmericanAir How else should one dress in June from Kingston to Miami? Sweats?Jeans? Turtleneck? 3 piece suit? Floor length skirt? Her breasts & butt were covered. You policed her curves. Shame on you.— Danielle Johnson, MD, FAPA (@DrDaniJ) July 2, 2019
This is also a statement against the black body, which has been subject to insult since the beginning. Read Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas: Stand Your Ground. You need to sue!— Ms. Marbella🌊 (@msmarbella) July 9, 2019
Dear Dr. Rowe, your outfit is appropriate for traveling, vacationing and for many other occasions— Narjust Duma M.D. (@NarjustDumaMD) July 1, 2019
We cannot be de-curve, this is upsetting. We (women of color) are tired of complying to everyone’s stereotypes. @AmericanAir where is your public apology? #MinoritiesinMedicine
It was not about how much flesh was shown, but whose flesh was shown.— Natasha Millikan (@usmousie) July 1, 2019
I would also like to see a video of Americans at a hot location boarding. Many would be dressing similarly. I would like to see if they stop every third person.
Discrimination. If you didn’t have any curves and the same outfit hung loosely, nobody would have said anything. Get a lawyer.— daydreamer (@daydreamer3) July 1, 2019
I have seen women wear less. This is BS. Maybe a flat bottom flight attendant got jealous? Just saying…..— CoryBooker’sEyeBrow (@nellie_bell45) July 1, 2019
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this outfit. That flight attendant was jealous because she’d never look this good in a Romper!— Gina Brown (@mzgee41) July 9, 2019
Another physician here demanding you apologize for the way you hypersexualized and policed an African American woman’s body and traumatized her son. #womenarenotyourproperty— Elizabeth DeLuca, MD (@LizFromMedicine) July 2, 2019
Dress codes are for employees, not customers.@AmericanAir— KimberKitty (@KimberFray) July 1, 2019
What’s the issue with what she’s wearing? Was someone jealous of her?
She looks cute & comfortable. She’s completely covered & respectable looking.
Seriously, @AmericanAir…lots of people are waiting for an answer.
American Airlines issued a statement on Tuesday and said they fully refunded her (and her son’s) 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. We apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel.”– Shannon Gilson, American Airlines spokesperson