A MUM and her one-year-old baby were allegedly kicked off an American Airlines flight because staff assumed their rare skin condition was a rash.
South Carolina woman Jordan Flake said she was left “humiliated” on a flight from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas, after being asked to “get off the plane as she wouldn’t be able to fly” with her son, Jackson.
Jordan Flake/Facebook Jordan Flake, pictured with her son, Jackson on Facebook, wrote about her ‘humiliating’ experience on an American Airlines flight
The pair have a condition that causes widespread and persistent thick, dry, “fish-scale” skin – called Ichthyosis.
Writing about her embarrassing ordeal on website Love What Matters, Jordan said she and Jackson had enjoyed four days with her husband before he was deployed with the military.
After checking their luggage in at the airport, they boarded the flight “where everyone smiled and talked to Jackson”.
But, “before takeoff, an employee from the airline 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 it was called Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition I share with my son.”
According to the NHS, there are at least 20 types of this condition, and most people with it have inherited a particular faulty gene from their parent.
It causes a build-up of rough, scaly skin as old skin cells are either shed too slowly, or they reproduce at a much faster rate than they can shed old skin.
Jordan added: “He walked up to the front to talk to the crew. He apparently also Googled it during that time.
I have never been so humiliated in my life!Jordan Flake
“He came back and said he apologised, 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 ‘well she doesn’t have a letter from the doctor, so…’.”
Jordan said they were unable to retrieve their luggage, so they went to a hotel, and organised a “new flight with a different airline.
“I had to make unexpected childcare arrangements for my daughter at home.”
She also had to get a “ride to the store to get our lotions to soothe our skin conditions, and some clothes.”
Jordan fumed: “I have never been so humiliated in my life!”
And she had stern words for the airline: “Quit being so ignorant and take the time to listen to people.”
After hearing about her experience, the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types (FIRST) released a statement on Facebook.
It said: “FIRST is disheartened to read about one of our members and her young son who were recently removed from an American Airlines flight.
“There was concern of a ‘rash’ they had, and she was escorted off the plane and booked on another flight.
“She and her son are affected with en confetti ichthyosis, a genetic skin disorder which is present at birth.
“This is a terribly sad experience for the family, and although they are home now, it is a situation which will have a lasting impact.”
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American Airlines sent a statement to the Sun Online, saying: “Our goal at American Airlines is to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers.
We sincerely apologise to Ms. Flake and her son for the experience they had Thursday, 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 American flights.
“We will also be refunding the cost of her trip as well.”
Facebook Baby Jackson was also taken off the flight after enjoying some rare time with his dad, who is in the military
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