Doctor who was told to cover up on American Airlines flight says she was 'humiliated'
'I walked down the aisle with my head down'
A doctor who was asked to cover her outfit with a blanket on an American Airlines flight last month has said she was “humiliated” and that the airline’s apology was not enough.
Appearing on Good Morning America Thursday, Dr Tisha Rowe, from Houston, Texas, recalled how she felt when a flight attendant pulled her aside to inform her that she could not board her flight from Jamaica to Miami unless she covered up the romper she was wearing.
“I was so humiliated,” she said. “I walked down the aisle with my head down. I didn’t want to see another passenger’s face.”
According to Dr Rowe, who discussed the ordeal - which she believes was racially-motivated - at length on social media, she was first asked three times by airline staff if she had a jacket while travelling with her eight-year-old son.
The 37-year-old also said she was the only one asked to cover herself in the “tropical climate,” despite other passengers on the flight also dressed in similar outfits.
Following backlash over the incident as a result of Dr Rowe’s social media posts, American Airlines issued an apology Tuesday and refunded her trip.
But, according to Dr Rowe, the airline’s apology is not enough - as she wants an explanation for why she was the only passenger targeted.
On social media, Dr Rowe said she believes a white woman aboard the aircraft wearing the same outfit would not have received the same treatment and that women are “policed for being black” and “our bodies are over-sexualised as women and we must ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable”.
“I will be empowered to dress the way that I feel comfortable, dress the way that I feel appropriate,” the mother-of-one told GMA. “If you’re going to have a dress code, it should be applied equally to every person, to every shape, to every race.”
According to American Airlines’ conditions of carriage, passengers are expected to “dress appropriately,” and “bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed”.
In addition to angering thousands of people on social media, GMA host Amy Robach expressed her outrage over the incident following Dr Rowe’s remarks.
“It was Jamaica to Miami - who has a jacket in Jamaica? I’m sorry, my blood is boiling,” the host said. “It’s ridiculous, she was perfectly appropriate.”
The Independent has contacted American Airlines for comment.