A doctor was stopped from assisting a sick passenger mid-flight because, according to one flight attendant, Tamika Cross, who is black, couldn’t be “an actual physician.”
Cross is a resident OB-GYN physician at the University of Texas-Houston. Previously, she had worked at the University of Toledo. She was a research assistant at the University of Michigan. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College.
Despite Cross’ impressive credentials, her help aboard a Delta Airlines flight was disrespectfully declined because of the color of her skin.
She was traveling from Houston to Detroit via Minneapolis for a wedding when suddenly a passenger became unresponsive.
When Cross offered to help the ill man, a flight attendant blocked her and told her, according to a Facebook post by Cross, “Oh no sweetie put your 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.”
Even though Cross insisted she was an actual doctor, she was ignored.
It was only when she pressed the button in response to an announcement requesting a physician that the attendant believed her.
However, she demanded proof from Cross.
"She said, 'Oh wow you're an actual physician?' I reply yes. She said, 'Let me see your credentials," Cross wrote in her Facebook post, saying the attendant asked her questions like, "What type of doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?"
Later, a white man offered his assistance, saying he was a physician. The flight attendant let him help immediately and allegedly told Cross, “Thanks for your help but he can help us.”
She wrote about the incident on her Facebook page:
The airline addressed Cross' episode in a statement posted in the comments thread of the post above:
"As a global airline that brings hundreds of thousands of people together every day, Delta is deeply committed to treating all of our customers with respect. We have been working non-stop to address this internally with the highest priority.”
Racial and religious discrimination is increasingly becoming a problem while flying. Just last month on Delta, a Muslim couple was forced to leave for allegedly saying “God” in Arabic.
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @breathexz