- A mum says that she and her child were both asked to get off a recent American Airlines flight because of a skin condition they both have.
- In a Facebook post, Jordan Flake said that both she and her son Jackson live with Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition.
- The airline crew told Flake that without a doctor’s note, they wouldn’t be allowed to fly and told them to get off the aeroplane.
- In a statement to INSIDER, the airline apologised.
- On Facebook, Flake called the crew “ignorant” and said she had “never been so humiliated in [her] life.”
A mum says that she and her 1-year-old child were both asked to get off a recent American Airlines flight because of a skin condition they both have.
In a Facebook post on Thursday – which was also Rare Disease Day – Jordan Flake detailed her experience. In her post, Flake said that both she and her son Jackson live with Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition that can lead to dry, scale-like skin, per the Mayo Clinic.
According to her post, the fight crew became increasingly concerned about her skin condition.
“We boarded our American Airlines flight where everyone smiled and talked to Jackson,” she wrote. “Before take off a man (employee called on [the] flight to handle the situation) came up to my row and asked the 2 men sitting next to me to get up. He then quietly asked me about ‘my rash’ and if I had a letter from a doctor stating it was OK for me to fly.”
But Flake didn’t have a note from her doctor. She told the crew member that both she and her son live with Ichthyosis. And while he did some quick research of his own and tried to advocate for her to the other members of the crew, it wasn’t enough, she wrote.
“He came back and said he apologised but we wouldn’t be able to fly and we had to get off the plane,” she wrote. “He helped me get my bags and Jackson.”
From there, Flake had to rearrange her travel plans, she said. American Airlines was unable to get their checked luggage – which included their lotions and clothing – before the plane took off. Additionally, she had to book a flight on an entirely different airline.
Flake shared the story on Facebook to raise awareness and went into further detail in a blog post on Love What Matters. Online, her story has gained traction. On Facebook, in particular, people were touched by her story, leaving reassuring comments on the post.
“Unbelievable! Ignorant people working for that airline,” one person wrote. “I am so sorry you were discriminated this way,” another person commented. “How sad that people are so quick to judge,” a third person said.
American Airlines has since apologised directly to Flake for the situation, refunded her for the trip, and offered her an upgrade on future American Airlines flights, a spokesperson for American Airlines told INSIDER.
“Our goal at American Airlines is to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement to INSIDER. We sincerely apologise to Ms. Flake and her son for the experience they had Thursday, and our team has begun an investigation into the matter.”
In her Facebook post, Flake said the airline was “ignorant” to her experience.
“I have never been so humiliated in my life … Happy Rare Disease Day!” she wrote. “Quit being ignorant and take the time to listen to people! I shouldn’t have to explain myself.”
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