A woman and infant with a rare skin condition were kicked off an American Airlines flight headed to Dallas on the last day of February.
Jordan Flake said she was discriminated against on Rare Disease Day — and she’s never been so humiliated in her life.
The South Carolina mother shared her story on Love What Matters and recalled the incident that took place when she boarded a plane after visiting her husband before he deployed for the military.
Flake claims that she was asked by a flight attendant about her “rash.”
After being away from my husband for almost 2 months, I finally was able to go visit him for his 4-day pass before he deployed […] Goodbyes are never easy, especially when it is for a long time and the future is never certain. The next day we were scheduled to leave.
I did what I always do. I went to the ticket counter and checked my bags. I went through security. I walked up to the gate counter twice. We boarded our flight where everyone smiled and talked to Jackson. Before takeoff, an employee from the airline 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.’
Today is #rarediseaseday ! While I’d like to share something positive, Jackson and I were just discriminated…
The mother and her 12-month-old son suffer from a genetic skin condition called Ichthyosis. The disease is characterized by dry and scaling skin, according to FIRST Skin Foundation. There is no cure for the genetic disorder but Ichthyosis is not contagious.
The woman tried to explain her rare skin condition to the airline attendant. But after the airline staff member googled Ichthyosis and talked to the rest of his crew staff, he apologized and told Flake that she and her son had to get off the flight because she didn’t have a doctor’s note.
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, so …’
The military wife and her son were helped off the plane, put in a hotel, and placed on a new flight with a different airline after the incident.
Flake said she deserved an apology after having to make unexpected childcare arrangements for her daughter at home and buy some personal items for her overnight stay. She was unable to retrieve her luggage from the flight.
On Thursday, she posted a picture of herself on board an aircraft with her baby to Facebook and wrote:
Jackson and I were just discriminated against … big time!
She continued in her post:
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.
I should never feel ashamed of myself for the way I was born. This was unacceptable and uncalled for. I have never been asked to show a letter. I have never been told by a doctor that I had to have documentation stating I wasn’t contagious, or whatever they were assuming.
In 2019, it’s time we stop discriminating.
American Airlines issued a statement to FOX Carolina apologizing for the ordeal.
The airline said they spoke with Flake directly and upgraded her flight.
Watch the video below: