When I was young my mother used to make me dress up to fly. It was just after deregulation and I wore a tie on the plane when I was 6 or 8 years old. Flying has become much more small-d democratic. Social norms have changed a great deal. Now most anything goes.
Passengers flying to and from holiday may be especially shocking in what they wear. People know they’re going to a warm weather destination and they’re in beachwear on the flight out of Chicago in the winter. And after a week in the tropics the last thing they’re going to do is put on heavier clothes before leaving the resort to board a plane to go home.
Even flying into conservative Muslim countries like the Maldives I see Russians and Americans wearing what they plan to wear on the beach. The Male airport, just outside the capital, isn’t the beach.
So it doesn’t surprise me at all what a doctor was wearing when American Airlines told her if she didn’t cover up she wouldn’t be able to fly from Jamaica to Miami.
The doctor, a family medicine specialist, was forced to get off the flight with her 8 year old son. Since she didn’t have a jacket in her carry on bag to cover up with, she was told she had to use an airline blanket. (American has told me that they do clean the blankets.)
However she doesn’t think there was anything wrong with her outfit.
Growing up, I lived in a very conservative household. Like, if my dad thought my shorts were too short, I was not leaving the house. So that’s just something that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing.
…I have a very curvaceous body, and I put my body in bold colors, so you’re going to see it. But it’s not vulgar. It’s not inappropriate. It’s not bad, you know? If you put someone who’s a size 2 in the exact same outfit next to me, no one would be bothered,.
Here’s what she was wearing.
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 pic.twitter.com/AYQNNriLcq
— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd) July 1, 2019
She says she was also warned ‘not to make a scene’ and tweeted that her son was embarrassed by the incident.
I’ll post a picture of my ATTIRE when I land. After an AMAZING VACATION it’s ended with my son in tears with the blanket they asked me to wear to my seat over his head and will never forget this experience @AmericanAir
— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd) June 30, 2019
According to American Airlines, they apologize and have refunded the tickets for this woman and her son. They “are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”
This isn’t an incident of too sexy to fly as we sometimes see but more of flight attendants not feeling resort wear departing a resort destination – for Miami of all places – is appropriate in the skies.
And in a post-9/11 world passengers have to strictly follow instructions, reasonable or not, or else they won’t be able to travel … at best.