Airline apologizes to 'humiliated' doctor asked to cover her outfit with blanket

She said she couldn't board her flight without putting on a jacket.

July 9, 2019, 8:17 PM

American Airlines apologized to a Houston-based doctor on Tuesday after she claimed she was ordered to use a blanket to cover up her summer outfit.

The passenger, Tisha Rowe, called the airline out in a tweet on June 30, saying crew members told her that she couldn't board her Miami-bound flight without putting on a jacket. She said acquiesced but said she felt "humiliated" by the ordeal.

"So #AmericanAirlines just told me I couldn't board the flight without putting a jacket over my ASSETS. My shorts covered EVERYTHING but apparently was too distracting to enter the plane," she tweeted. "When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket."

Rowe, who was traveling with her 8-year-old son, also tweeted a photo of the outfit in question. Social media users rallied behind her and accused the airline of policing womens' bodies.

Rowe said she was targeted due to her curvy figure, and because her body didn't "fit the mold."

"As a physician i know the negative impact of #racism on health and i am speaking up because i hope no one else has endure what i did because they don’t fit the mold," she tweeted.

An American Airlines planes takes off as staff and employees at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 17, 2015.
Jason E. Miczek/Getty Images FILE

The airline issued an apology on Tuesday and said it fully refunded Rowe for her 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," American Airlines spokesperson Shannon Gilson said in an e-mailed statement to ABC News. "We apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel."

Gilson said American Airlines is "proud" to serve customers of all backgrounds and committed to providing a "positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us."

ABC News' Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

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