Emma Margolin, NBC News, October 14, 2016
A black doctor has accused Delta Air Lines of discrimination after a flight attendant allegedly shooed her away from a passenger in need of medical attention and said “actual physicians” were needed.
Dr. Tamika Cross, an OBGYN resident at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, wrote in a Facebook post that she was on a flight from Detroit last week when someone two rows ahead her of starting screaming for help.
Cross raised her hand to get the flight attendant’s attention, but her help was rejected, she said.
“She said to me ‘oh no sweetie put ur hand down, we are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you,'” Cross wrote. “I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.”
As the overhead speaker called for physicians on board to alert the flight attendants, Cross said she pressed her button, staring at the flight attendant who had just cast her aside.
“She said ‘oh wow you’re an actual physician? I reply yes. She said ‘let me see your credentials. What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?'” Cross wrote.
Finally, Cross said a “seasoned” white man approached and told the flight attendant he was a physician as well. Without asking for his credentials, the flight attendant immediately accepted his help, Cross said.
Later on, the flight attendant started asking Cross for input on how to help the unresponsive man, who was showing signs of improvement, Cross said. She added that the flight attendant had also apologized to her several times and offered her SkyMiles.
“I kindly refused,” Cross wrote. “I don’t want SkyMiles in exchange for blatant discrimination. Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this . . . and I will still get my skymiles.”