Mother and her one-year-old son kicked off an American Airlines flight for skin condition: But Was the Airline Right?

A South Carolina mother and her baby son were allegedly kicked off an American Airlines flight on Thursday because of their rare genetic skin condition. 

Jordan Flake had boarded a flight from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas to visit her husband, Chris Flake, before he deployed for the military. She had her one-year-old son Jackson with her. 

‘Jackson and I were just discriminated against…big time!’ she posted on Facebook Thursday, including a picture of her on board an aircraft with her baby in her lap.

She continued: ‘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. 

Jordan Flake had boarded an American Airline flight from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas with her one-year-old son Jackson on Tuesday

‘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.’

She had been trying to visit her husband – Chris Flake – before he deployed for the military

Flake explained to the staff member that she and Jackson had a rare genetic skin condition called Ichthyosis.

The genetic condition is characterized ‘by dry, scaling skin that may be thickened or very thin,’ according to the First Skin Foundation

‘Each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis,’ the foundation states. There is currently no cure.

Flake stated that, once she informed him of her medical condition, the man went to the front of the plane. He returned, after Googling Ichthyosis, and apologized to the woman before telling her that she and her son had to get off the flight. 

Flake explained to the staff member that she and Jackson had a rare genetic skin condition called Ichthyosis. The genetic condition is characterized ‘by dry, scaling skin that may be thickened or very thin’

‘He helped me get my bags and Jackson. He talked to the pilot as we were getting off,’ Flake added. ‘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…”’

The staff member helped Flake get a hotel for the evening and arranged for her to take a different flight on another airline. 

Jordan and her young son were forced off the flight as a result of the rashes but staff helped them get a hotel room and another flight

‘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,’ said the mother-of-two. 

She added: ‘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.’ 

The woman’s father, Terry Lee Smith, reached out to Fox Carolina in hopes of getting a response from the airline. 

 ‘My daughter is a sweet girl, military wife, and great mother… She was born with this condition and doesn’t deserve this treatment,’ Smith said.

The airline sent a statement to Fox, that said: ‘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.’

The airline sent a statement to Fox, that said: ‘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’


One thought on “Mother and her one-year-old son kicked off an American Airlines flight for skin condition: But Was the Airline Right?

  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with “discrimination”, as long as it is fair and reasonable. Everyone discriminates inasmuch as every person on the planet has their own personal preferences and dislikes and is entitled to exercises their right to make personal choices in their life.
    It was absolutely fair and reasonable, if not an absolute legal imperative, that the airline should refuse to take chances with the health and welfare of the entire passenger manifest when faced with an unknown and unauthenticated appearance of very obvious ill-health.
    For this woman to say “I shouldn’t have to explain myself.” is the height of self-centred arrogance when she knows full well that that she has a RARE skin condition, yet does absolutely nothing to provide anyone with sensible evidence that her condition will not endanger the health of others in the closed environment of a plane. The only person at fault is herself. She is 100% to blame for the situation which was entirely avoidable had she used some common sense.

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