Doctor asked to 'cover up' on flight over ‘distracting’ outfit

A doctor has hit back at an airline after she was almost removed from a flight for wearing what was considered an “inappropriate” outfit.

Dr Tisha Rowe, a GP, was travelling from Jamaica to Miami on June 30 when she was approached by a flight attendant and asked to put a jacket over her “assets”.

“So, American Airlines just told me I couldn’t board the flight without putting a jacket over my ASSETS,” Dr Rowe wrote on Twitter.

“My shorts covered EVERYTHING but apparently was too distracting to enter the plane.”

She said she was about to take her seat on the flight with her eight-year-old son when a flight attendant asked her to come to the front of the plane, Dr Rowe explained in an interview with US breakfast TV show Today.

Doctor Tisha Rowe takes a selfie in the bathroom of the outfit that was considered 'inappropriate' for an American Airlines flight.
A selfie showing the 'inappropriate' outfit Dr Rowe wore on the flight. Source: Twitter/tisharowemd

Having already passed a different flight attendant and gate agent, Dr Rowe was not expecting to be confronted for her choice in attire.

“She looked at me, and these are the parts that are hard to put into words,” she wrote.

“She looked at me with the kind of the look that mean girls in high school give a girl that no one likes, like a look of disdain of: ‘You’re nothing’. And the first words out of her mouth were: ‘Do you have a jacket?’”

When Dr Rowe replied that she did not have a jacket with her, the flight attendant said she could not get back on the plane “dressed like that”.

Dr Rowe, who later shared a photo of herself dressed in a strapless jumpsuit, asked the flight attendant if she could board the plane wearing a blanket around her waist.

“Her response was: ‘Yeah, because that’s the only way you’re getting on here’,” she said.

“I wrapped the blanket around my waist, and I was upset.”

Once on the plane, Rowe said she was uncomfortable and “felt sick” about the interaction.

“Writing has always been therapeutic for me, so I whipped out my phone and I just wrote (on Twitter).”

“We are policed for being black,” Dr Rowe tweeted.

“Our bodies are over sexualised as women and we must ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable.

“I’ve seen white women with much shorter shorts board a plane without a blink of an eye. I guess if it’s a ‘nice ass’ versus Serena [Williams] booty, it’s OK.”

The thread quickly went viral, with thousands of commenters who joined Dr Rowe in her disappointment with the airline.

Michelle Mohr, a spokesperson for the American Airlines told Today Dr Rowe and her son received a refund for their tickets and the airline is attempting to contact her directly.

“We are just terribly sorry for what happened to Dr Rowe and her son, for their experience with us, and that is why we have apologised, and we really want to personally apologise to her,” the spokesperson said.

An American Airlines is parked at a gate at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.
An American Airlines spokesperson apologised to Dr Rowe and offered her and her son a refund. Source: Getty

According to Mohr, the airline’s conditions of carriage states that all passengers must “dress appropriately” and bans bare feet and “offensive clothing”.

“We want to ensure positive, safe travel experiences for everybody who flies with us,” she said.

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