American Airlines has formally apologized to Dr. Latisha “Tisha” Rowe for pulling her off a flight from Jamaica to Miami because her romper was deemed inappropriate by a flight attendant. But in an interview with Good Morning America on Thursday, Rowe reiterated that the apology wasn’t enough, calling for a full explanation for why the incident occurred, and more consistency in how the airlines’ dress code is applied.
“If you’re going to have a dress code, it should be applied equally to every person, to every shape, to every race,” Rowe said on GMA.
According to Rowe, she and her eight-year-old son were told to deplane their flight from Kingston to Miami by a flight attendant. Once off the plane, the flight attendant—who, Rowe noted, is black—asked Rowe if she had a jacket she could put on over the romper she was wearing. Because she was in (looks back at notes) Jamaica, Rowe did not. Rowe was then told she couldn’t get back onboard “dressed like that,” and given a blanket to wear down the airplane aisle back to her seat.
Rowe told CNN that incident felt like “a slap in the face.”
“I’m being told indirectly, in front of my son that—you know, it felt like, ‘You look like a slut, so let’s fix this,’” she said.
One she landed in Miami, Rowe wrote about the incident on her social media accounts, accompanying them with pictures of her (completely non-offensive, completely standard-issue summer attire) romper. After her posts went viral, American Airlines issued a formal apology to Rowe, and clarified that she and her son had been refunded their travel.
“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,” the airline company said in a statement. “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.”
But Rowe reiterated that what she wants is a fair policy that is applied evenly to everyone.
During her GMA interview, Rowe noted that many other passengers had on summery outfits; in fact, another female passenger compared the shorts she was wearing to the outfit Rowe had on.
“My shorts are shorter than yours, and no one said anything to me,” Rowe recounts her fellow passenger saying.
America Airlines’ dress code policy is outlined in its contract of carriage, stating only, “dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.” No further details or examples are given of what “appropriate” attire constitutes.