Houston doctor told to cover up on flight says racism was behind the incident

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston doctor says she was humiliated by an American Airlines employee who told her she would have to "cover up" before boarding a flight.

"If I were a white woman, you would not have taken me off the plane," said Dr. Tisha Rowe.

Rowe posted on Facebook that she was traveling from Jamaica to Miami on June 30 when she was asked to deplane for a talk with flight attendants.

"I strongly believe that race played a role and it's hard to articulate for people who aren't African American women what it feels to be a double minority," Rowe said.

Rowe says she was asked to "cover up" her outfit if she wanted to get back on the aircraft.

The woman was traveling with her 8-year-old son and agreed to wrap herself in a blanket in order to not disrupt travel plans.

As soon as she landed in Miami, the woman complained directly to the airline as well as posted to social media where she says she has received mostly positive response, with some negative reactions.

"I've gotten numerous women saying I've worn shorts shorter than yours on the plane and nobody has said anything to me," Rowe said.

American Airlines apologized for the incident and released this statement:

"We were concerned about Rowe's comments and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred. We apologize 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."

The airline tells ABC13 their dress code guidance can be found in the airline's Conditions of Carriage that states: Dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren't allowed.

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