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.”


She explained:

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.

Flake continued:

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…

Posted by Jordan Flake on Thursday, February 28, 2019

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.

Flake explained:

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.

Flake added:

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:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

Leave a comment

11 Replies to “Mom and Baby Were Kicked off Flight for Genetic Skin Condition After Flight Attendant Assumes It’s a ‘Rash’”

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Noone deserves that sought of treatment especially in public, it is so embarrassing. The airline crew need to apologize to them.

  • Mary 2 years ago

    Apology, upgrade and refund isn’t enough for this humiliation and great inconvenience put upon this mother and child. American Airlines has turned hostile and mean spirited to their passengers. For an inexperienced flight attendant to make a medical call is invalid.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    The airline person who took it upon themselves to discriminate should have consequences big time as well.

  • Sarita west 2 years ago

    I think this flight attendant over reacted and this poor woman deserves an apology AND a free ticket to ANYWHERE she needs or WANTS to travel! It’s hard enough to be ‘different ‘ in America these days without the added ignorance! So very sorry for this mom and baby❤️

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    The airline attendant who took the position to remove this passenger from the flight would most definitely need a doctor’s note before she could fly again.

  • Michael Bankston 2 years ago

    The mother definitely deserves an apology from American Airlines. If I was the woman – or her husband – I would sue American Airlines. This is part of the reason I never want to fly unless I travel to Alaska, Hawaii, or abroad.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Absolutely! She has no right to make a diagnosis even though the airline went along with her! If she is a dermatologist why would she be also working as a flight attendant! This woman can sue! She will win! She has the advantage & can show proof! Still can’t believe a stewardess had so much knowledge and power! Amazing!!!!
    & ridiculous!!! ? Oh No someone has a rash!

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Well think about it this way…. Someone gets on a plane with a rash and can’t verify its not contagious. Say it IS something contagious, or worse, terrorism. How many people would have to get sick so this person doesn’t feel discriminated against? I’m sorry, but I think I’m this day and age, it was the right call to make. Frankly, if I had something (rare disease) like that, I would have documentation that it wasn’t contagious to fly, just to be sure. The greater good prevails.

  • Von Stringer 2 years ago

    People, I have this same skin disease and some days I am a mess to behold. The airplane people have no way of knowing this was not contagious so they did the best they could for the other passengers. Why does everyone want to sue someone and make money for themselves? Be thankful someone was checking for the passengers’

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