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Beyond angry-American Airlines

HFSSC posted 3/1/2019 07:07 AM

Y'all, I am ready to spit nails, fire and acid over here.

My nephew is days from his 2nd deployment. He's been gone since just after Christmas preparing to leave and his wife and baby son went to see him for 4 days. She and the baby have a rare genetic skin condition called ichthyosis. They often look like they've had a horrible sunburn that is peeling. They are beautiful. My niece (in law, but whatever) is a beautiful, gracious woman who is very active in advocating for their community. Here's what happened to her in El Paso yesterday.

Today is #rarediseaseday !
While I’d like to share something positive, Jackson and I were just discriminated against...big time!

**just to clarify, my issue is with the crew. Not the airline employee. He was called by the crew to remove me from the plane. He was very helpful and mad about the situation. He tried advocating for me!**

We boarded our American Airlines flight where everyone smiled and talked to Jackson. Before take off a man (employee called on flight to handle the situation) 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. I explained to him that it was called Ichthyosis and it was a genetic skin condition. He 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...”
They also weren’t able to retrieve my checked luggage. The man helped me off the plane, got me a hotel and a new flight with a different airline. I had to make unexpected childcare arrangements for my daughter at home and I am having to get a ride to the store to get our lotions and some clothes for tomorrow. 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.

I can't believe this happened. In 2019. my niece was humiliated, inconvenienced, and forced to spend money to provide clothes and skin care items that are essential for her and Jackson. My nephew is enlisted. They aren't exactly rich. It was a struggle for them to afford the trip to begin with. My nephew should be able to focus on his mission, but instead he's feeling helpless while his beautiful wife and son have been treated like literal lepers.

Her post is set to public on FB. If you search the airline on there, I hope you'll see the posts that have been shared. The airline keeps untagging themselves and removing posts from their feed. Assholes.

Gah!

DragnHeart posted 3/1/2019 07:12 AM

Absolutely horrible! The airline needs to be held accountable and at the very least make a public apology.

My heart hurts that this had happened. Prayers and hugs to them all.

TheCaterpillar posted 3/1/2019 14:06 PM

This is awful. I just looked it up and see that the airline has issued an apology but it should not take people sharing the story on fbook to get an apology.

“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.”

Upgraded them on their flight? I hope they're planning to reimburse them for all the additional expenses incurred by them being forced off the flight without their luggage!

I'm so sorry for your niece. It must have been so stressful and embarrassing. Airlines need to be more mindful that passengers can't just be bounced from a flight for any reason, but this is particularly cruel.

Please keep us updated with any details of their apologies/investigation your niece if comfortable with you sharing. Here's hoping they've been shamed into reviewing their policies

Phoenix1 posted 3/1/2019 14:38 PM

Can I just say I absolutely hate American Airlines? I have NEVER had a flight with them that did not come with problems of some variety. Because of that, I don't fly with them unless I absolutely have no choice. They suck, and what they did to your niece is beyond just an "inconvenience." It was cruel for no reason.

I am currently fighting with them right now over a *lost* piece of luggage when I was forced to fly them due to a flight delay, missed connection, and reroute from my original airline (I think it was stolen, honestly).

HATE them...

Lionne posted 3/1/2019 15:33 PM

I've had excellent service from AA. I guess I've been lucky. United and Delta not so much.

But this just sucks. Those responsible need to be held accountable...

HFSSC posted 3/1/2019 20:00 PM

Well, it hit the national news and the FB post is viral. The airline has refunded their trip and issued an apology. I wish they could make the crew issue a public apology as well. I texted my nephew this afternoon and I told him his wife is a freaking rock star and my new hero. He said, "...yes my wife is a picture of grace and strength.". Isn't that beautiful?

Thank you all for the support.

And keep my nephew (and all the troops) in your prayers.

Marie2792 posted 3/1/2019 22:23 PM

I just saw your nieces original post with photo of her and her precious son. There is so much ignorance in the world today that truthfully it’s almost if some people wake up in the morning and look for something to make trouble about. I hope she sues them. But I hope above all it doesn’t deter her from advocating for others.

sewardak posted 3/3/2019 05:41 AM

this is on yahoo's front page!

Gottagetthrough posted 3/3/2019 08:48 AM

I am so sorry this happened! I just read about it on the news. I can’t believe that they were told to leave the plane.

HFSSC posted 3/3/2019 13:17 PM

Thank you all. It's been very interesting this last couple of days. I've never experienced someone close to me in any sort of national media attention, and it's... funny? not sure what word fits. How many stories about the same thing can get details wrong. One story stated that she didn't say whether her son was also affected by the disorder. When it was clearly stated a couple of times. And several stories wrote that she was on her way or "trying" to visit her husband, when they were actually on their way home.

And that's one of the crazy things about it. She was clearly traveling on a round trip ticket. How could the airline be fine with her traveling one way, but not the return trip?

I'm going to need to back away from the social media because there are some people that are pissing me off. Apparently there are all sorts of "contagious rashes" that people are trying to spread around the world by flying illegally and without a "doctor's note." And apparently a "doctor's note" is some magical entity that will confer protection from the spread of disease. Like no one could fake that. And the fact is, Jordan and Jack's skin does not look like a rash. They have very dry skin and a reddened skin tone. They mostly look like they got a bad sunburn that is peeling. But they should be required or expected to carry medical documentation because people are scared of ... IdK, measles? Smallpox? Leprosy?

I am so very proud of my nephew and his wife. They are wonderful parents and are handling this with so much dignity. Well, she is handling with dignity. He's pretty damn pissed off. I kinda feel sorry for anyone he encounters during this deployment.

ZenMumWalking posted 3/3/2019 13:23 PM

FUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

DragnHeart posted 3/3/2019 15:25 PM

She handling it much better than I would have. I would have lost it on the plane.

latebloomer45 posted 3/3/2019 15:40 PM

When I think of the fact that every damn time I get on a plane SOMEONE is hacking their lungs up...usually two feet away...and not a damn thing is done about it, this makes me extra crazy. And as I said to you on FB...putting them on another flight? If they believe she's infectious, wtf is up with THAT?

Assholes.

I hope it at least raises some awareness.

[This message edited by latebloomer45 at 3:41 PM, March 3rd (Sunday)]

HFSSC posted 3/3/2019 20:52 PM

ZMW!!! I've been missing you! Thank you for expressing exactly how I feel.

Dragn, I agree. I would have probably ended up in jail. In fact, one of my best friends (since 5th grade) told Jordan and should have set Aunt HF on them and that would be scarier than anything else. My nephew replied "This is the truth.".

Latebloomer, you know, that's the thing that blows my mind the most. They do nothing about people who are truly nasty. They refuse to acknowledge that requiring or expecting a "doctor's note" provides no protection whatsoever against any actual contagious illness. I'll tell you who should be required to carry around a sign is the idiot anti-vaxxers who are the reason that some of these illnesses everybody is afraid of are causing a problem.

Jeaniegirl posted 3/3/2019 21:38 PM

Flying has become a pain in the ass. I hate it. So disorganized and one usually spends a lot of time circling or sitting on the tarmac. My friend's son is a diabetic and was taking a short flight (1.5 hours) and they ended up on tarmac for FOUR HOURS before taking off and he asked for a cracker or juice and the attendant said they don't hand out anything while sitting on the ground. When he told her he's type one diabetic, her response was .... 'most diabetics know to carry a snack with them!'

This woman should sue American Airlines!

allusions posted 3/3/2019 22:18 PM

Crazy.

I have an autoimmune condition---chronic urticaria and I can break out in hives from head to toe. It can look pretty scary, especially if I having angioedema (swelling of the tissues) and my face and lips and eyelids swell up. It wouldn't occur to me that I'd need a doctor's note saying I'm not contagious.

boontje posted 3/5/2019 16:06 PM

I've been avoiding the news lately, but I'm happy to hear this story got aome national attention. If notjing else, it might make people think before they open their ignorant mouths. I grew up in the 70s with a disabled father and a sister who had grand mal seizures. I know the looks. The stares. The comments. The judgement. It's hurtful. And humiliating. And so unnecessary. In my opinion, the airline owes your niece way more than a free ticket. They should invest in a PR campaign that focuses on empathy....but only after they issue a public apology to her and her sweet baby. Where has human decency gone?

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