Tamika Mallory — one of the Women’s March on Washington organizers — was kicked off an American Airlines flight after a dispute over a seating assignment went awry.
Mallory was making her way home to New York from Miami when she was scolded by the pilot of her flight following a disagreement she had with a gate agent, New York Daily News reports.
The pilot eventually had Mallory pulled from her seat and removed from the flight altogether.
“It definitely was white male aggression. I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against,” Mallory said of the ordeal.
"Our team does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed said. "We take these allegations seriously, and we are in the process of reaching out to our colleagues in Miami, as well as Ms. Mallory, to obtain additional information on what transpired during the boarding process."
Mallory was reportedly in Miami for the Revolt Music Conference. When she arrived at Miami International Airport for her flight home, she used an airport kiosk to switch from a middle seat to an aisle seat. However, when she reached the boarding gate, she was given a new ticket that placed her back into a middle seat.
According to Mallory, the gate agent’s response to her was “nasty” and “disrespectful” when she asked why her seat had been changed back. Upon boarding the plane, however, the pilot — who only caught the tail end of the dispute — got involved and insisted that the airline worker wasn’t responsible for the seat change and suggested that Mallory was the one being rude.
“Then he said to me, ‘Can you get on this flight? Are you going to be a problem on this flight?’ I said ‘No, I’m not. Actually, I’m fine. But I will write my complaint down,'” Mallory recounted. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.’”
When she thought the drama was over once and for all, she settled into her middle seat but then heard an announcement requesting her to come to the front of the plane. Upon making her way up, the pilot allegedly pointed her out and said, “Her, off.”
“I began to express my outrage,” Mallory said. “Then I asked why I was being removed. I asked why was this happening to me. I told him I felt completely disrespected. I began to weep.”
A male companion she was traveling with was also removed from the plane. Apparently, no explanation was given for why Mallory was kicked off the flight, but after the incident, she tweeted about the way she was mistreated.
“Doesn't matter how much we do and how hard we fight, white men are allowed to treat black women like s--t,” Mallory wrote. “Other ppl stand by and watch it happen because it doesn't affect them. If I have to fight alone, @AmericanAir will NEVER GET AWAY W/ THIS.”
She was eventually rebooked onto another flight, but based on her impassioned tweets, this is hardly the last American Airlines will hear of her. It’s clear that the airline had no knowledge of the social justice crusader they were messing with.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, BriYYZ