- A Houston-area doctor said she was forced to get off her
American Airlines flight after boarding, and wrap an airline
blanket around her waist before being allowed back on.
- She said a flight attendant told her that her outfit was
unacceptable; however, she tweeted photos showing that the outfit
- American Airlines prohibits “offensive clothing,” but otherwise
does not publish a dress code for flights.
Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Houston-based doctor has accused American Airlines of
humiliating her in front of her son and other passengers — all
because an employee objected to her summer romper.
Dr. Latisha “Tisha” Rowe, a family medicine specialist and
founder of a telehealth company, said she and her eight-year-old
son were on their way to Miami earlier this month after a week
vacationing with family in Jamaica. In a viral tweet, Rowe said she
was forced to deplane after she boarded, told that her attire was
not acceptable, and that unless she covered herself, she wouldn’t
be allowed to fly.
In the tweet, she included a front and side-view photo of her
outfit, a one-piece romper.
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.
— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd)
July 1, 2019
However, Rowe said that there was nothing inappropriate about
what she was wearing, and that she even double-checked herself in a
bathroom mirror right before boarding.
“I turned and I looked at my backside and I kind of gave myself
that, you know, girl check,” she told Business Insider in an
interview. “Growing up, I lived in a very conservative household.
Like, if my dad thought my shorts were too short, I was not leaving
the house. So that’s just something that I’ve gotten into the habit
Instead, she believes there’s a double-standard for appropriate
attire that’s applied differently to women depending on a few
factors, including body shape and race.
“I have a very curvaceous body, and I put my body in bold
colors, so you’re going to see it. But it’s not vulgar. It’s not
inappropriate. It’s not bad, you know? If you put someone who’s a
size two in the exact same outfit next to me, no one would be
bothered,” she said.
Rowe said she had boarded the plane without any issue, and had
almost reached her seat when a flight attendant approached her and
said that they needed to talk to her at the front of the plane. She
said she walked up, and met another flight attendant who directed
her off the plane to the jet-way.
I’ll post a picture of my ATTIRE when I
land. After an AMAZING VACATION it’s ended with my son in tears
with the blanket they asked me to wear to my seat over his head and
will never forget this experience @AmericanAir
— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd)
June 30, 2019
“There was no explanation why I was called off the plane,” Rowe
recalled. “And all she said was ‘do you have a jacket?'”
After Rowe told the flight attendant that she didn’t have a
jacket, she said the flight attendant explained that the flight
crew found her outfit inappropriate, and that she wouldn’t be
allowed back on the plane unless she changed or covered up.
“At this point, I’m not screaming or angry or anything, but I’m
defending myself. I’m fine with my outfit, like, what’s the issue,”
she said, adding that she looked down and saw that her son was
embarrassed and fighting back tears.
“My automatic mommy protective mode started. I’m like, ‘how do I
fix it?’ I don’t want to be in this situation. I just, I want this
She said that since she didn’t have a jacket or clothing she
could easily change into, she asked for a blanket. The flight
attendant obliged, Rowe said, telling her that covering herself
with the blanket was the only way she’d be allowed to fly.
“It just felt like a mean girls standoff in the hallway at high
school because that’s the only way you’re getting on at this point;
as if I’m not a paying customer. I just was embarrassed,” Rowe
After she wrapped the blanket around her waist, she said,
another flight attendant came up and warned her not to make a
scene, despite the fact that she was deliberately behaving calmly
to avoid escalating the situation.
“I said, ‘I’ve complied with your request, please let me on the
plane.’ Three times I had to say that before they actually let me
on the plane,” Rowe said. “Three times that I did not argue with
them, fuss with them, and had a blanket wrapped around before they
parted their physical barrier to let me on the plane.”
When the flight landed, Rowe went to a bathroom in the airport
to take the photos that she included with her tweet.
contract of carriage, which passengers agree to when they
purchase tickets, mentions appropriate attire, but doesn’t provide
any details or examples. It simply reads: “Dress appropriately;
bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”
Regardless, Rowe insisted that the outfit was completely
appropriate for the public. “I don’t want you to see me in a normal
summer appropriate outfit and tell me it’s inappropriate just
because of other people’s thoughts,” she said. “I have no idea what
was the source of this in the first place. What I know is I was
perfectly comfortable and felt appropriate.”
A spokesperson for American Airlines, Shannon Gilson, said that
the airline is taking Rowe’s complaint seriously and is
investigating why she was forced to cover up, and that the airline
has not been able to contact Rowe.
In a statement provided by Gilson, American said:
“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. Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to reach Dr.
Rowe or leave a message at the number provided. We want to
personally apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience,
and have fully refunded their travel. We are proud to serve
customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a
positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with
This is not the first time that individual employees for the
airline have been accused of discrimination.
In April 2018, a passenger claimed that police were called on
her “for flying while fat & Black.” In October 2017, the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
issued a travel warning to African-American passengers flying
the airline, but lifted it in July 2018, according to
Rowe, meanwhile, hopes that no one else has to deal with
subjective rules being applied to normal summer clothing just
because an outfit looks different on different body types.
“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I just want
things to be fair, to be objective and to, for everyone to be able
to fly without feeling like you have to fit into a certain
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
American Airlines made a doctor wrap a blanket around herself because a flight attendant found her summer outfit 'inappropriate' (AAL)