American Airlines Apologizes to 'Humiliated' Woman That Attendant Told to Cover up: 'We Are Policed for Being Black'

A woman who said she was told by airline staff to cover her "assets" while she was on a flight back from holiday has received an apology. Tisha Rowe, 37, said she was flying on American Airlines from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami, Florida, with her 8-year-old son when a flight attendant told her that the romper she was wearing was inappropriate.

The staff member asked her if she had a jacket to "cover up" and was unpersuaded by Rowe's protestations. She and her son were taken outside the aircraft and told that what she was wearing was too revealing.

Rowe, who is a family doctor in Houston, Texas, then said she felt obliged to wrap a blanket around her waist for the flight. When she got home she tweeted about the incident which she said made her feel "humiliated."

She tweeted that the airline told her she couldn't board the flight "without putting a jacket over my ASSETS. My shorts covered EVERYTHING but apparently was too distracting. I've seen white women with much shorter shorts board a plane without a blink of an eye. We are policed for being black. Our bodies are over sexualized as women and we must ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable."

Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir 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. #notsofriendlyskies

— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd) July 1, 2019

She later told BuzzFeed: "I felt powerless. There was nothing I could do in that moment other than give up my money and my seat to defend my position that I was completely appropriate. To me, there was never an ounce of empathy, an ounce of apology, any attempt to maintain my dignity throughout the situation."

On Tuesday the airline said it had given an apology and a refund to Rowe and her son.

"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," a spokeswoman said in a statement to media.

"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 BBC reported.

In 2017, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) warned African-Americans they could face "disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions" with American Airlines, according to The New York Times.

This was lifted last July after the airline agreed to training its 130,000 staff members and also a new discrimination complaint resolution process, the Times reported.

American Airlines Airbus
An American Airlines Airbus A319-100 taxis on April 23, 2019, at Boston Logan International Airport in this illustrative image. The airline has apologized to a woman whom staff told to cover up. DANIEL SLIM//Getty Images