A Texas doctor is considering a lawsuit following what she calls biased treatment by American Airlines flight attendants.
Dr. Tisha Rowe says she was forced to cover her romper without a real explanation of the issue.
“I could not have seen this coming by a longshot,” Rowe said.
On June 30, Rowe was on an American Airlines flight returning from her vacation in Jamaica when she was confronted by a flight attendant about her outfit.
According to Rowe, the attendant asked her if she had a jacket.
Rowe said no one ever told her what was wrong with the one-piece romper she was wearing.
“She just said ‘you’re not getting on here like that’. I knew exactly how I looked in the front and the back, was comfortable and so I stood up for myself,” Rowe said. “But I was powerless in that moment.”
Rowe says the flight attendants were essentially shaming her for how her curvy body looked in the popular summer outfit.
“I said if I was a white woman you would not have pulled me off this plane and she said this is not discrimination and I said absolutely it is,” she said.
All of it unfolded in front of Rowe’s 8-year-old son.
“When we got on the plane then it was tears,” she said. I asked for the blanket, wrapped it around my waist and they said enter.”
In a statement from American Airlines, the 90-year-old airline company said:
“We 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.”
The airline’s dress code offers few details — only saying “dress appropriately” and that “bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”
Rowe says the apology is a good first step, but it’s not enough.
“You need better training, you need more objective measures and you need to define this dress code in a way that does not inherently create an opportunity for bias and harassment,” she said.
“They are simply not in a place where they have accepted that they have a problem, and if necessary, we’ll take them to court and teach them that they do,” Geoffrey Berg, Rowe’s attorney, said.