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Should Passengers Adhere To A Dress Code While Flying?

By DeAnna Taylor

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There seems to be a double standard in society where if you are a little curvier than others, you should be covered from head to toe or, you shouldn’t wear clothing that’s too short or too tight.

This was the case for a Black doctor as she boarded her American Airlines flight to Miami. Dr. Latisha Rowe, a family-medicine specialist, was traveling with her 8-year old son after their vacation in Jamaica. Just like most people who fly, Dr. Rowe wanted to be comfortable on her flight and dressed accordingly.

On the way to her seat, one of the flight attendants asked her to step to the front of the plane so that they could speak with her about something. Once at the front, she was taken onto the jetway and asked if she had a jacket.

Dr. Rowe, a bit confused, did not have a jacket nor did she have any other clothing to access at the time. Flight attendants informed her that she needed to cover up because they felt her attire was inappropriate for the flight and she risked not flying if she didn’t. Rowe was wearing a romper.

“I turned, and I looked at my backside, and I kind of gave myself that, you know, girl check,” she told Business Insider in an interview. “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.”

At this point, her young son began to cry out of embarrassment. Just like most parents, Dr. Rowe’s only concern was getting her son to calm down so she asked for a blanket instead. The flight attendants suggested that wrapping the blanket around her waist would rectify the situation and that would allow her to fly.


“My automatic mommy protective mode started. I’m like, ‘how do I fix it?’ I don’t want to be in this situation. I just, I want this done,” she added.

Once her flight landed, she took to social media to show her outfit and express her disappointment in the flight crew.

“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,” she said.

Since taking to social media, Dr. Rowe’s posts have gone viral and caused American Airlines to be notified. In a statement provided by American Airlines spokesperson Shannon Gilson, American said: 

“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.”

Related: American Airlines Apologizes To Rapper Wale Amid Racism Allegations

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

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