American Airlines Forces Doctor to Wrap Herself in Blanket Because They Thought Her Romper Was Inappropriate

Illustration for article titled American Airlines Forces Doctor to Wrap Herself in Blanket Because They Thought Her Romper Was Inappropriate
Photo: Dr. Latisha Rowe

First, I have to ask American Airlines employees a question: does this shit ever work out well for you? Has there ever been a time where a flight attendant has made some knee-jerk decision about how offended they were about what a woman was wearing and everyone thought, bravo, airline, you’re a hero? No. Of course not. It never will. Just like it isn’t working out well now, when flight attendants told a family medicine doctor her outfit was inappropriate, and she couldn’t fly unless she wrapped up in a blanket.


The doctor is Dr. Tisha Rowe, and this was the outfit she wore on her return flight home from a vacation in Jamaica with her 8-year-old son:

Okay, it’s a cute, brightly-patterned vacation romper. All the important bits are completely covered, she looks like a woman who’s been on vacation in Jamaica. It’s totally fine. Aside from a funeral, I can’t really think of anywhere wearing this would actually offend someone, but I don’t know the minds of American Airlines flight attendants well enough, I think.

Rowe was pulled from the plane as she was boarding, and taken to the front, where she was confronted by two flight attendants who took her into the jetway. They asked if she had a jacket, which she didn’t (remember, Jamaica) and was told that the flight crew found her outfit “inappropriate,” telling her she’d not be allowed on the plane unless she changed or covered herself, somehow.

Rowe states that she remained calm and sought a way to resolve things for the sake of her young son, who was becoming upset. That’s when the blanket solution was offered, and Rowe had to wrap the blanket around herself in order to be allowed back on the plane.

Rowe had to convince the flight attendants to let her back on the airplane, and was warned to “not make a scene.


Business Insider spoke with American Airlines spokesperson Shannon Gilson, who provided this statement:

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 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.


I have some advice for American Airlines—and, really, any airline—regarding what people (though mostly women; men almost never get called out for clothing unless it’s, say, a full-on SS uniform) wear: shut up.

If all the exciting stuff is covered, and you can’t see nipples or genitals or whatever, then absolutely no one cares what you think, and whatever you do think you should just keep in your flight attendant brain.


I know the American Airlines Conditions of Carriage state

“Dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”

...but unless you define what “offensive” actually is, this is effectively meaningless.


You know what would have happened if those flight attendants just let the good doctor in her vacation clothes just board the plane? That plane would have landed in (checks notes) Miami and that would have been it.

But, thanks to a flight crew with the sensitivity of a late-Victorian dowager aunt with an axe to grind and a belly full of laudanum, there’s this shitstorm to deal with.


Way to go, American Airlines. Another triumph. Thanks for keeping the skies safe from, uh, fun little rompers? Exposed shoulders and knees? Happy children?

Time to wise up. Unless you’re seeing scrotums or labia or nipples or whatever, just let the people get on the damn plane.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:



Unless something is actually showing, companies need to lay the fuck off.  Seriously, you’re on an airplane, not at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse.