MIAMI — A Texas doctor was returning home from a vacation to Jamaica when she says American Airlines staff asked her to cover up her outfit or risk being kicked off the flight.
The Dallas-Morning News reported that Latisha Rowe, a doctor and founder of a telemedicine company, was leaving Jamaica with her son when she said a flight attendant asked her to come off of the plane, which was leaving Kingston, Jamaica, and heading to Miami.
AmericanAirlines 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. I guess that’s why they are AMERICAN airlines," she
, saying in another tweet, "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."
When she landed, Rowe posted a photo of the outfit she was wearing that she said was deemed distracting by American Airlines staff. According to the photo, she was wearing a sleeveless romper.
"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 tweeted.
Rowe gave more details about her experience to Business Insider. She told the outlet there was nothing inappropriate about her attire.
"I turned, and I looked at my backside, and I kind of gave myself that, you know, girl check," she told Business Insider. "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 of doing.
"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," she said. "It's not inappropriate. It's not bad, you know? If you put someone who's a size 2 in the exact same outfit next to me, no one would be bothered."
Rowe said that the flight attendant initially asked if she had a jacket and explained that a member of the flight crew thought her outfit was inappropriate, saying that if she didn't cover up, she would not be allowed back on the plane. When she asked for a blanket because she didn't have a jacket, they offered her one and she was eventually allowed to board, but she said her son was embarrassed and near 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 done," she told Business Insider.
An American Airlines representative initially responded to Rowe's claims on Twitter on July 2, saying, "We've tried calling you at the number you provided but have been unable to reach you. We want to personally apologize to you and your son and assure you your tickets are being refunded. We'd truly like to speak with you and will continue to try and reach you."
Shannon Gilson, a spokesperson for American Airlines, made similar remarks in a statement to Business Insider.
“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," Gilson said. "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.”
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