A woman and her eight-year-old son were stopped from boarding an American Airlines plane on June 30 as her "attire was not acceptable". Dr Latisha "Tisha" Rowe was reportedly told that she would not be allowed to fly unless she covered herself.
The incident occurred when Tisha and her son were returning to Miami after a week-long vacation in Jamaica. Tisha claims the flight attendant asked her if she had a jacket and when she said no, she was offered a blanket to cover herself up. "You cannot get on the plane dressed like that," the flight attendant told Tisha, reports Washington Post.
Embarrassed, Tisha took the blanket since she did not want to miss the flight. After the flight landed, Tisha saw that there was another woman wearing shorts. "The difference between that woman and me is she was about a size 2, thin. It's hard to understand if you are not a double minority, a woman and a black, how it's not pulling a card," Tisha said.
Tisha went on to say that when she spoke to the woman, the latter said that she did not face any problem while boarding the flight. However, she assured Tisha that she will join her in filing a formal complaint.
Shannon Gilson, an American Airlines spokesperson, said that they have apologised to Tisha and provided a refund of the ticket as compensation. Tisha, however, said that she has not received any notification that the money has been refunded.
She said that a refund is not enough and will not erase the memory of her eight-year-old son. Tisha said that she wants an acknowledgement of the incident and the effects of these dress codes on passengers.
In a statement, Gilson said, "We apologize to Dr Rowe and her son for their experience. 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."
Tisha added that the airline has not guided her in the process of filing a formal complaint even though she has asked them multiple times.
The Washington Post reports that Tisha has been continuously receiving calls from American Airlines but she refused to answer the calls insisting they their correspondence should be via email.
American Airlines has always been under fire for racial discrimination. In 2017, NAACP had issued a travel advisory asking black travellers to refrain from travelling via American Airlines since they have a reputation of discrimination and the travellers may experience "disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions."
The ban was lifted in 2018 with the NAACP saying that the airline had agreed to have an implicit-bias training and implement new means in order to resolve discrimination complaints.