Jordan Flake and her baby, Jackson, were removed from an American Airlines flight because of their genetic skin condition called, Ichthyosis.
On their way home from visiting her military husband before his deployment, the mother and son were asked by an airline employee to deplane their flight because of the health concerns raised by the airline crew.
He was sent to ask about their visible rash and find out if she had a letter from her doctor confirming she received clearance to fly. Jordan explained that she and her son both had Ichthyosis, which manifested in dry, thick skin with a scaly and flakey appearance. The employee Googled the skin disorder as he regrouped with the crew up front.
He returned to Jordan with an apology and the final decision that they were not fit to fly and told her that she had to leave the aircraft. Jordan said that the employee did his best to advocate her cause. She even noticed him speak to the pilot as they were passing the front to get off, and recalled the pilot didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
What humiliated Jordan was what a flight attendant said in a rude, dismissive tone, “Well she doesn’t have a letter from a doctor, so…”
She was assisted in making new flight arrangements on a different airline and set up at a hotel. This setback meant she would also have to make extra childcare arrangements for her daughter, who was already expecting them back.
To make matters worse, they were unable to retrieve her checked-in bags, so she had to find a way out to the store to get supplies, like their soothing lotions and clothes for the next day.
The unfortunate incident took place on, of all days, “Rare Disease Day”. So while she usually chooses to post positive thoughts online, Jordan felt that after she and her 1-year-old son were discriminated against, she knew her story had to be shared. She ended her post saying,
“Happy Rare Disease Day! Quit being ignorant and take the time to listen to people! I shouldn’t have to explain myself.”
Jordan’s post quickly went viral, and American Airlines issued an apology stating,
“Our goal at American Airlines 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 yesterday, 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. We will also be refunding the cost of her trip as well.”.
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