American Airlines passenger forced to cover up with a blanket

Helen Coffey

A mother travelling with her son was left humiliated after American Airlines cabin crew forced her to cover up her outfit with a blanket before they would let her onboard.

Latisha Rowe, a doctor from Houston,Texas, was wearing a strapless playsuit for the flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami.

She said she was almost at her seat when a flight attendant asked her to come to the front of the plane with no explanation.

Dr Rowe was then directed onto the gangway and asked if she had a jacket she could wear as crew had deemed her outfit “inappropriate”.

“I have a very curvaceous body, and I put my body in bold colours, so you’re going to see it,” Rowe told Business Insider. “But it’s not vulgar. It’s not inappropriate.

“If you put someone who’s a size 2 in the exact same outfit next to me, no one would be bothered.”

Dr Rowe was given the option to change her outfit or cover herself up if she wanted to be allowed back onto the flight.

Seeing that her eight-year-old son was getting upset, Dr Rowe said she went into “mummy protective mode” and tried to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

“It just felt like a mean-girls standoff in the hallway at high school because that’s the only way you’re getting on at this point; as if I’m not a paying customer. I just was embarrassed,” she said.

As she didn’t have an outfit change readily available, Dr Rowe asked to borrow an airline blanket and wrapped it around herself, yet was still forced to ask three further times to be let back on the aircraft.

Sharing a photo of the outfit on Twitter after the flight, Dr Rowe wrote: “Here is what I was wearing when American Airlines asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to ‘cover up’.

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

The tweet has since had more than 12,000 likes and retweets.

“You are not dressed inappropriately at all. It’s not your clothes, it’s your curves. Shame on American Airlines,” wrote Twitter user Jasmine Marcelin.

“How else should one dress in June from Kingston to Miami?” added Danielle Johnson. “Sweats? Jeans? Turtleneck? Three-piece suit? Floor length skirt? Her breasts and butt were covered. You policed her curves. Shame on you.”

American Airlines’ terms of carriage state passengers should “dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.” It does not define what clothing is considered “offensive”.

An AA spokesperson said: “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.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to reach Dr Rowe or leave a message at the number provided. We want to personally 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.”