American Airlines issued an apology after a woman wearing a romper said she was removed from the plane and told she should cover herself with a blanket.

Tisha Rowe, 37, tweeted a photo of herself in the strapless romper she said she was wearing on the June 30 flight — an image that quickly went viral on social media. She was eventually allowed to return to the flight and traveled with her son from Jamaica to Miami.

“Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked  to ‘cover up,’ ” 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, an African American and Caribbean American family physician in Houston and the founder of a telemedicine company, wrote online that she was “humiliated” in front of her son, telling The New York Times that she thought race was a factor in the incident.

“Had they seen that same issue in a woman who was not a woman of color, they would not have felt empowered to take me off the plane,” Rowe told the Times. “In pop culture, especially black women with a body like mine, they’re often portrayed as video vixens. So I’ve had to deal with those stereotypes my whole life.”

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said the airline apologized to Rowe and that she was fully refunded for the flight.

“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,” she told the Times. “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.”

American Airlines has previously been accused of discrimination. In 2017, the NAACP warned African Americans about traveling on the airline, citing several “disturbing incidents” that “suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines.”