Airline issues an apology after telling doctor to 'cover up' her 'inappropriate' summer outfit with a blanket

Marie Claire Dorking
·4-min read
A woman was reportedly asked to "cover up" on an American Airlines flight [Photo: Getty]
A woman was reportedly asked to "cover up" on an American Airlines flight [Photo: Getty]

An airline has issued an apology after a doctor was allegedly forced to “cover up” with a blanket because staff deemed her summer outfit “inappropriate.”

Dr Latisha “Tisha” Rowe, a family-medicine specialist, was on an American Airlines flight to Miami from Jamaica with her 8-year-old son when she was asked to step off the plane by cabin crew, Business Insider reports.

Taking to Twitter, Dr Rowe revealed that she had been told by staff that the outfit she was wearing wasn’t appropriate for boarding the aircraft and unless she changed or used a blanket to “cover up” she couldn’t fly.

“Here is what I was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk, at which point I was asked to “cover up”,” she wrote alongside a front and side view of the outfit in question, a one-piece, strapless playsuit.

“When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket.”

Since sharing, her tweet has gone viral, receiving almost 6K comments from people, many defending Dr Rowe’s outfit choice.

In an interview with Business Insider Dr Rowe said she doesn’t believe there was anything inappropriate about her outfit and had checked herself in the toilet mirror just before boarding.

“I turned, and I looked at my backside, and I kind of gave myself that, you know, girl check,” she told the publication.

“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.”

READ MORE: Why cabin crew welcome you onboard with their hands behind their backs

Dr Rowe went on to call out the “double-standard” for what is considered appropriate attire, which she suspects could be influenced by a number of factors, including body shape and race.

“I have a very curvaceous body, and I put my body in bold colours, so you’re going to see it,” she said.

“But it’s not vulgar. 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.”

Having allegedly been told she wouldn’t be allowed back on the plane unless she found an alternative outfit or covered up with a blanket, Dr Rowe says she was left feeling “humiliated” but opted to wrap the blanket round her waist.

“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said. “I just want things to be fair, to be objective and to – for everyone to be able to fly without feeling like you have to fit into a certain mould.”

The woman was travelling on an American Airlines flight to Miami [Photo: Getty]
The woman was travelling on an American Airlines flight to Miami [Photo: Getty]

READ MORE: The most inappropriate airline videos of all time

A spokesperson for American Airlines told Yahoo UK: “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.

“We apologise 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.”

This isn’t the first time a woman was left upset after being forced to cover up her “inappropriate” outfit on a flight.

Earlier this year, Emily O’Connor, 21, from Solihull, claimed Thomas Cook staff threatened to remove her from a flight she boarded from Birmingham to Tenerife.

Taking to Twitter in a now-viral post, O’Connor said she was told to cover up by airline staff as she got on board the aeroplane.

She was later told she would be removed from the plane unless she put a jacket on.

In other concerning flight news, last December a woman shared how her and her then-boyfriend were “treated like criminals” at Dubai airport after telling a man to stop tapping his foot.