Texas woman accuses American Airlines of racism after they asked her to 'cover up' as her romper was 'too distracting'
A 37-year-old African American doctor from Houston, Texas, has accused American Airlines of racism after she was asked to cover up on a flight.
Tisha Rowe said that she was asked to deboard at Kingston, Jamaica and told that she would only be allowed to re-board when she had covered up her "assets". Rowe took to Twitter to talk about her experience and shared photos of her allegedly inappropriate outfit.
"So American Airlines just told me I couldn't board the flight without putting a jacket over my ASSETS. My shorts covered EVERYTHING but apparently was too distracting to enter the plane," her first tweet read, "I guess that's why they are AMERICAN airlines", she said.
"Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk," she said under a photo of her wearing a printed tube romper. "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," she wrote.
Rowe was traveling with her 8-year-old son at the time, she told Buzzfeed News. She was first asked if she had a jacket, she told the news outlet, to which she replied that she didn't. She was confused at first but a flight attendant told her that her dress had been very revealing.
“I felt powerless,” Rowe said. “There was nothing I could do in that moment other than give up my money and my seat to defend my position that I was completely appropriate.” She felt absolutely "humiliated," she said.
“To me, there was never an ounce of empathy, an ounce of apology, any attempt to maintain my dignity throughout the situation,” she said. “If I were a white woman, you would have not asked me to get off the plane,” Rowe is said to have told the attendant at the time.
American Airlines said that they were "concerned" by her comments and have reached out to her to "personally apologize", Shannon Gilson, a spokesperson for American Airlines, said in a statement.
"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 us," she said. The carriage policy for the airline, however, does ask its fliers to "dress appropriately" and that "bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed".