Dr. Tisha Rowe is the Houston-area woman who said she was removed from an American Airlines flight until she covered up her romper.
Rowe explained what happened in a series of tweets on June 30. Rowe said that she and her son had been on vacation in Jamaica for a week and were flying to Miami when the incident occurred. Rowe has said that she feels as though race played a part in why she was removed from the flight. In an interview with Houston’s CBS-affiliate KHOU, Rowe said, “If I, being Leticia Rowe, was a white woman in that same body suit, if they thought it’s inappropriate, do I think they would have removed that white woman from the plane? Absolutely not.”
During appearances on TV, Rowe has been accompanied by her lawyer, Geoffrey Berg.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rowe Said That When She Defended Her Outfit, She Was Threatened With Not Being Allowed Back on Board
In the viral tweet, Rowe posted a front view and a side view of the romper on the day she was removed from the flight. Rowe wrote in the caption, “Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover up”. When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies.”
Rowe wrote in a subsequent message, “I’ll post a picture of my ATTIRE when I land. After an AMAZING VACATION it’s ended with my son in tears with the blanket they asked me to wear to my seat over his head and will never forget this experience @AmericanAir.” Rowe told Business Insider she took the photos of the romper in the bathroom immediately after her plane landed in Miami.
In her interview with KHOU, Rowe said that she “embarrassed” and “humiliated” as she was escorted off of the plane while clad in an airline blanket over her romper.
2. Rowe Says She Is ‘Not Your Average Doctor’
Rowe introduces herself on her LinkedIn page as “Not your average doctor.” Rowe says she is a native of Miami and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from the University of Miami in 2004. From there, Rowe attended Temple University where she attained a Doctorate of Medicine in 2008. Rowe did her residency at Baylor’s College of Medicine in 2012, specializing in Family medicine. Rowe is a “proud member” of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and fluent Spanish speaker.
In addition, Rowe has a masters in business administration from Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. In 2018, Rowe was the keynote speaker at the Bauer Healthcare Symposium. Rowe refers to herself on that page as a “serial entrepreneur.” Rowe founded the Rowe Network, a telemedicine network that functions in five countries, known as Rowedocs. Rowe has also founded, “the Boss Doctors, The Fit Doctors and the Bossy Investors.” An endorsement on her page from a fellow physician sees Rowe lauded as a “visionary and actively works to manifest her vision.”
Rowe says on her Twitter bio that she is a “Doc thinking outside the box” and that “what God has for me, it is for me.”
3. Rowe Has Written a Book Titled ‘B Is for Bossy’
In March 2019, Rowe published the book, “B Is for Bossy.” Rowe publicized her book on Instagram in the aftermath of the American Airlines incident. Rowe describes the book as being based in her experiences from the business world and how those “made her realize many women may never pursue the career they dream of because it requires bossing others around.” The book’s blurb ends with one of Rowe’s mantras, “You can be anything you want to be… be bold, be brave, be bossy.”
Rowe maintains a blog where she regularly writes about women’s history, beauty products and medical tips. Rowe is also a proponent of beauty products for women that are healthy. Rowe offers life coaching services too for $250 per hour.
4. Rowe Says Her Proudest Accomplishment Is Raising Her ‘Exuberant’ 8-Year-Old Named Chase
Rowe writes in a bio on her official website that her “proudest accomplishment is raising her exuberant 7-year-old chase.” In 2014, Rowe was the subject of a feature titled, “Single Moms Rock.” Rowe is quoted as saying, “Being a CEO and physician people are always shocked to learn i am a single mom. My advice to single moms is to always make time for yourself even if it means leaning on family and friends. Its okay to ask for help, even if you are a solo parent, you are not alone in the world.”
Following her ejection from the American Airlines flight, Rowe told CNN that her son had been left “devastated” by the incident.
5. American Airlines Rules State That Passengers Must ‘Dress Appropriately’
According to American Airlines’ website, passengers are required to “dress appropriately” with bare feet and “offensive clothing” being banned. Since Rowe’s story became public knowledge, American has apologized to the company and has said that an investigation is underway over what happened. In October 2017, the NAACP issued an advisory saying that African-American people could face “disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions” when flying with American Airlines. That advisory was lifted in July 2018 with the organization commending the airline’s efforts to improve.
Rowe’s lawyer told CNN that his client is considering filing a lawsuit against the airline. While an American Airlines spokesperson told the network that the airline is planning to hire a chief inclusion and diversity officer.