A South Carolina woman alleged that she and her one-year-old son were kicked off an American Airlines flight due to their rare genetic skin condition characterized by dry, scaling skin.
According to the Washington Post, Jordan Flake said she and her son Jackson were humiliated and discriminated on a flight from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas, on Thursday. She was on her way to visit her husband, Chris, before he gets deployed for the military. She and her son suffers from a genetic skin condition called Ichthyosis which causes dry, scaling skin that may be thickened or very thin, according to the First Skin Foundation.
Flake took to Facebook to narrate her ordeal and also posted a picture of her onboard the aircraft with her baby in her lap. Her post read: 'Jackson and I were just discriminated against...big time! We boarded our American Airlines flight where everyone smiled and talked to Jackson. Before take off a man (American Airlines employee) 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'. The man went to the front of the plane and returned after Googling Ichthyosis. He apologized to Flake and told her that she and her son had to get off the flight. Shocked by the treatment, Flake tried to explain the airline staff member about their rare genetic skin condition but the crew was adamant on her leaving the plane.
Her post further read: 'He helped me get my bags and Jackson. He talked to the pilot as we were getting off. The pilot seemed ok with it, but the flight attendant rudely said (without even acknowledging me) "well she doesn't have a letter from a doctor'. The staff member helped Flake get a hotel for the evening and arranged for her to take a different flight on another airline.
'I have never been so humiliated in my life! I have emailed them and am waiting for a reply. Happy Rare Disease Day! Quit being ignorant and take the time to listen to people! I shouldn't have to explain myself', she wrote in her post.
American Airlines said in a statement: 'Our goal is to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Flake and her son for the experience they had, and our team has begun an investigation into the matter. Our Customer Relations team has already spoken to her directly and upgraded them on their flights'.
According to the First Skin Foundation, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis annually. There is currently no cure for the condition.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.