Mother Jordan Flake, and her baby son, Jackson, were on a domestic American Airlines flight when they were removed from the plane due to the appearance of their skin.
The woman and her son from South Carolina in the US both have ichthyosis, a genetic disease which has symptoms that include thick, scaly, dry and cracked skin, according to The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
While there is no cure, ichthyosis is not contagious, and is not caused by any sort of infection. Unfortunately, that information wasn’t accepted by the crew of the flight the Flakes were on; which is why they were asked to disembark.
The frustrated mum wrote a now viral post on her Facebook page, explaining what happened:
“Before take off a man (employee called on flight to handle the situation) came up to my row and asked the two 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.
“I explained to him that it was called Ichthyosis and it was a genetic skin condition.”
The attendant discussed the matter with the rest of the crew, and “apparently also googled it during that time.”
The information he received on Google wasn’t enough to convince him that the Flakes weren’t a danger to the other passengers, and the mother and her baby were asked to disembark.
Adding to the difficult situation, Flake overheard some comments from a flight attendant that only made the situation worse.
“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…’”
Flake explained that she eventually managed to board another flight on a different airline, the next day, after making arrangements for the care of her daughter who was at home.
“I have never been so humiliated in my life!”, the mother concluded the post.
“Quit being ignorant and take the time to listen to people! I shouldn’t have to explain myself.”
Flake’s viral post attracted the attention of American Airlines, whose spokesperson told Inc. magazine the airline was conducting an investigation into the incident.