A military mother and son duo were kicked off a plane and humiliated because of a rare skin condition known as ichthyosis, and the incident oddly enough took place on February 28 which happens to be Rare Disease Day.
Via Facebook, Jordan Flake explained in a post that has now gone viral that she and her baby, Jackson, attempted to board an American Airlines flight traveling from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas, to visit her military husband.
Mrs. Flake said that as she was making her way to her seat, she was approached by a crew member who told her that her rash was visible and she needed a letter from a doctor allowing her to fly with other passengers.
An embarrassed Flake explained to the flight attendant that both she and her young child were born with ichthyosis, which, according to medical experts is among skin diseases that cause dehydrated, thick and scaly skin.
The woman detailed the incident in the following Facebook message: “I explained to him that it was called Ichthyosis and it was a genetic skin condition. [The staffer] walked up to the front to talk to the crew. He apparently also Googled it during that time. He came back and said he apologized but we wouldn’t be able to fly, and we had to get off the plane. 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, so...’”
Even though the crew member googled the name of the illness and received the confirmation that it was real and the pilot gave the green light for staying on the flight, Flake and her baby were booted from the plane.
She concluded her post by saying: “I have never been so humiliated in my life! Happy Rare Disease Day! Quit being ignorant and take the time to listen to people! I shouldn’t have to explain myself.”
This latest PR nightmare has forced the company to apologize in this statement that said in part: “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 Thursday, and our team has begun an investigation into the matter. "
Should the mother take this further?