Nobody enjoys feeling like they’re a second class citizen. We’re all born equal, so there’s no reason for one person to be treated differently to everyone else. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what happened on a flight from Jamaica to Miami back in June. One woman was removed from the plane because her outfit was deemed inappropriate, and it was only after being humiliated that she was allowed back on.
The end of a vacation usually isn’t cause for celebration. Unless you’ve had a terrible time, the last thing you want is for the break to be over. Dr. Tisha Rowe and her son were certainly sad for their trip to Jamaica to be over.
That’s why they weren’t in the mood for anything to go wrong on their journey home.
Removed from the plane
Sadly, their flight to Miami was one of the most memorable that Dr. Rowe and her son had ever had. They had no reason to expect that things would go wrong, but then a flight attendant approached them on the plane and asked to speak to Tisha outside.
The passenger had no idea what was going on, but she agreed nevertheless. So, with her son by her side, she exited the plane for what she hoped would be an uneventful conversation with the flight attendant. That was when she learned something that completely soured the rest of her trip home.
Showing too much
Once off the plane, Dr. Rowe was informed that her outfit wasn’t appropriate to wear for the flight. The attendant asked if she had a jacket available, to which the passenger replied that she didn’t. Tisha was confused about the whole situation, and it only got worse when she was told she needed to cover up.
If she didn’t comply, then the crew were going to deny her access to the plane. They apparently deemed her romper to be too revealing, an accusation that took Dr. Rowe by surprise. She didn’t see what was wrong with the clothes she had on.
Walking back in shame
The passenger faced a considerable dilemma as she stood there being judged by the flight attendant. While Tisha wanted to defend herself, she also didn’t want to be stranded in Jamaica. Arguing her case didn’t seem to get her anywhere, and she was running out of time.
Feeling powerless and out of options, she relented and agreed to cover herself in a blanket provided by the airline. Dr. Rowe admitted that she felt humiliated walking back to her seat with her body covered up. Her dignity was in tatters, and the flight attendant didn’t seem to care in the slightest.
Expressing her anger
Tisha felt sick the whole trip back to Miami. The judgment she’d experienced before the flight was traumatizing, and it made her feel ashamed for all the wrong reasons. The passenger wasn’t merely embarrassed by the whole situation, though – she was angry too.
That’s why she took to social media to air her grievances. She was furious about what had happened, and she still couldn’t justify why she was singled out. Dr. Rowe shared a photo of what she’d worn that day on Twitter, proving that there was nothing inappropriate about the outfit. It was hardly the most revealing thing out there.
Tisha believes there are a number of reasons why she was called out by the flight attendant. She believed she was getting a double standard treatment.
She believed that she was only getting treated this way because the flight attendant felt she wasn’t “pulling off” the dress. She pointed out that other women on the plane were wearing similar dresses, but they weren’t getting kicked off the plane. So why was she getting treated differently? What was it about her that was giving her this treatment?
She wasn’t the only one
Dr. Rowe was hardly the only person on that flight who was showing skin. There were plenty of people who were wearing somewhat revealing outfits because of the weather. She said during a BuzzFeed News interview that she’d noticed other women with similar clothes on.
However, none of these people were called out by the flight attendant. It was only Tisha who was subjected to that humiliation, an experience that will haunt her and her son for years. Luckily, the internet has largely been on the woman’s side throughout this ordeal, and they’ve reminded her that there are good people in the world.
After Tisha posted about the incident online, hundreds of people flocked to support her. After seeing what she’d worn that day, they agreed that the flight attendant was unjustified in their accusations.
Many argued that her outfit wasn’t revealing and that her clothes were only a problem for people who were biased. Dr. Rowe wasn’t showing off anything she shouldn’t have, and therefore the romper wasn’t inappropriate to wear on a flight. One commenter – another doctor, in fact – accused the attendant of policing Tisha’s curves, and plenty of others backed her up. They weren’t going to ignore this prejudice.
It’s a trend nowadays
A lot of people online also agreed that they’d seen others wear far worse than what Dr. Rowe had on that day. Like many things, fashion trends change over time, and skin-baring ensembles are popular right now.
Women feel far more confident in their bodies than they used to, and they want to show that off. Why shouldn’t they? There’s no rule about what size you have to be to wear what you want, nor should there be. That’s what commenters on Tisha’s post wanted the flight attendant – and to a larger extent, the airline – to understand.
Suitable for the occasion
Something that many people couldn’t understand, including Dr. Rowe, was what the airline expected her to wear when flying from Jamaica. The temperatures were averaging around 90°F at the end of June this year, with the heat in Miami also very similar.
With that in mind, rompers like the one Tisha wore were perfectly justifiable on that day. Was she expected to wear a jumper and jeans? Perhaps they wanted her to go all the way and fly back to Miami in a snowsuit. The passenger’s attorney said that if that was what they wanted, they should have made it clear beforehand.
An unprofessional outfit
Although most people were on Tisha’s side, some people did appear to support the flight attendant’s actions. These commenters suggested that because the passenger was a doctor, she should have dressed more professionally for her flight.
They said that her outfit gave off the wrong impression and did a disservice to all the good work she does in her job. Unfortunately for them, Dr. Rowe had a comeback. She revealed that people like Victoria Beckham fly from one place to another in tiny shorts, yet they’re never accused of being unprofessional. Why should her romper be viewed differently to outfits like theirs?
It’s not a big deal
One question that plenty of people wanted answering was why the airline felt it needed to judge Tisha for her outfit. When you’re on a plane, you’re usually not concerned with anyone else but yourself. You’re simply there to go from A to B as quickly as possible, generally making minimal interaction with strangers.
Even if someone didn’t approve of Dr. Rowe’s romper, it’s unlikely they were going to spend the entire flight complaining about it. They’d probably say something rude and then move on with their business. The only person making a big deal about the clothes was the flight attendant.
A history of prejudice
Something that worried several commenters was the possibility that the attendant had done this to people before. They feared that it was something they regularly did, and it was only now that their behavior was coming to light.
If Dr. Rowe hadn’t been someone with a bit of a following online, her complaint might not have gone very far. However, with almost 6,500 fans on Twitter, people listened when she aired her problems. Although no-one’s come forward admitting they received the same treatment, that doesn’t mean this flight attendant is in the clear. There’s still time for them to be exposed.
An influence on the world
Tisha’s biggest claim to fame is being the founder of ROWE, a service which provides people with 24/7 access to doctors. Anyone looking for immediate help from certified medical professionals can use the site to receive treatment almost immediately.
The website boasts a staff of working, single, and stay at home moms who understand the urgency that comes with needing a doctor’s appointment. As well as being responsible for this, Tisha is also the woman behind Boss Doctors. This is a service that aims to inspire people – girls, especially – to strive for careers in business leadership.
Righting the wrongs
Given how much attention Dr. Rowe’s case received online, it was inevitable that American Airlines – the airline that she flew with – would get in touch. They tweeted the passenger saying they wanted to reach out to her directly and ask for some information.
A spokesperson for the airline later revealed they’d got in contact because they wanted to apologize for what happened. They hoped to understand how the incident had occurred, so they spoke to her and the staff at the Jamaican airport. They were desperate to do some damage control after all the negative press coming their way.
A full refund
As a show of kindness to the passenger, the spokesperson for American Airlines revealed that they’d fully refunded Dr. Rowe’s flight. Considering the humiliation she’d been put through, it was the least they could do. Unfortunately, returning her money wasn’t going to change the terrible experience that she’d had.
She was hesitant to forgive, and she definitely wouldn’t ever forget what went down that day. Tisha has spent the weeks since the incident using her social media to campaign against the prejudice she encountered. She wants to stop others from experiencing the same humiliation she went through.
Traumatizing her child
Perhaps the biggest concern Tisha had after this traumatic experience was the effect it would have on her son. While she might have been the one who was humiliated by the flight attendant, he had to stand by and watch it happen.
Apparently, he was in tears when they returned to the plane. He ended up hiding under the blanket that Dr. Rowe had been forced to cover herself with, devastated by what had transpired. Tisha now fears that this moment will stay with her boy forever and that it will impact how he views things going forward.
You’d think you’d be free to wear what you want when on a plane, but American Airlines has apparently had a dress code for years. Unfortunately, what they consider to be appropriate hasn’t always been clear. Their policy states that “bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed,” but it doesn’t elaborate on what the latter refers to.
What some people are upset by, others have no problem with. The concept of something being offensive is incredibly subjective, essentially giving flight attendants free rein to call out whoever they want. If they can provide a reason, they can get away with it.
Improving the regulations
Fortunately, the airline appears to be getting better with its stance on clothing. In the last few years, they’ve stopped banning “non-revenue” passengers – aka employees and their relatives – from wearing certain things. Now, they’re simply expected to be “neat and clean” and not cause offense with their outfits.
Moreover, people in first and business class initially weren’t allowed to wear stuff like shorts or athletic gear. Presumably, this was because it didn’t fit the wealthy aesthetic, but thankfully that’s changed now. However, while things have improved with these clothing regulations, they’re still far from perfect.
One issue after another
Unfortunately, it’s not just clothing that the airline appears to have an issue with. In the past, they’ve been accused of gender discrimination with a regulation appearing to favor men and punish women. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants stated that their attendance policy was unnecessarily harsh towards female employees.
This was a huge contrast to the way it impacted male pilots, arousing fears of gender bias. Now that we’re in 2019, these kinds of things don’t fly under the radar anymore. Any airline seen to be exploiting their staff or customers like this can expect to be called out for it.
It’s still not enough
In light of their problems, the airline apparently had several internal changes to try and combat the issues. This included giving employees implicit bias training, as well as providing a more effective discrimination complaint process.
However, while the airline might have improved as a whole, it’s not out of the woods yet. If that flight attendant in Jamaica was still acting that way a few months ago, it’s safe to assume others are doing the same. More training needs to be done to prevent employees from showing their prejudice and treating certain customers like they’re second class citizens.
The fight never ends
Whether Dr. Rowe gets proper justice for what went down on her vacation is yet to be seen. The woman continues to campaign for change and equality on her social media, and that’s something we don’t think will ever change. If she wasn’t already passionate about the cause before, she certainly is now.
The experience she had in Jamaica was proof that there are still so many toxic opinions out there. If she wants the world to be a better place for her son and his future children, she can never stop fighting for what’s right.
Disclaimer: Some photos may be stock images used for illustration purposes only. The people or places in these photos are not to be associated with the article.