Dr. Latisha Rowe was flying from Jamaica to Miami with her young son when the airline refused to board her because of her outfit. The doctor was wearing a romper that fully covered her body parts.
Boarding a flight back home, Rowe said she and her son were temporarily deplaned and asked by staff to change her outfit because it was “inappropriate.” Confused by their request, she was told she would need to wear a blanket to “cover up,” before she would be permitted back onto the plane.
As Rowe complied to the airline’s ridiculous request, she was then told “not to make a scene” even though she had been quiet and cooperative throughout the entire time.
“I said, ‘I’ve complied with your request, please let me on the plane.’ Three times I had to say that before they actually let me on the plane. Three times that I did not argue with them, fuss with them, and had a blanket wrapped around before they parted their physical barrier to let me on the plane.”
Rowe was not only embarrassed, but aware of the effect the situation had on her eight year old son, who was crying. “To me, there was never an ounce of empathy, an ounce of apology, any attempt to maintain my dignity throughout the situation,” she said.
Rowe posted her outfit to social media after her flight. Her romper is identical to the ones displayed in clothing stores and worn by women and their daughters alike. Her outfit is not exposing any inappropriate body parts, nor does it display any vulgar language or print.
So what exactly was inappropriate about her summer outfit? Rowe commented that her race and body size were factors to her discrimination. Stating that if she were a size 2 or “if I were a white woman, you would have not asked me to get off the plane.”
This is not the first time airlines have policed women’s clothing. Women and young girls have been rejected from their flights because their leggings were deemed “offensive” and inappropriate.
Currently American Airlines policy requires passengers to “dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.” Although the standards of what is considered appropriate are not detailed, nor mentioned how it would be determined.