'Happy rare disease day': Woman and baby kicked off flight, alleges discrimination against skin condition

'Happy rare disease day': Woman and baby kicked off flight, alleges discrimination against skin condition
Photo credit: Facebook / Jordan Flake

A mother has taken to social media alleging she and her child were kicked off an American Airlines flight after their appearance due to a rare skin condition triggered concern from on-board staff.

Jordan Flake says she and her baby were discriminated against when, on international rare disease day, flight crew told her the pair must get off the plane after questioning her "rash".

She shared her experience on Facebook on Thursday saying the American Airlines staff wouldn't let them fly because of their genetic skin condition, Ichthyosis.

Ms Flake wrote that before take-off, a man approached her and her baby and asked "about 'my rash' and if I had a letter from a doctor stating it was okay for me to fly".

"I explained to him that it was called Ichthyosis and it was a genetic skin condition," Ms Flake wrote.

She said the man then conversed with the flight crew and, despite the pilot seeming fine with the pair flying, soon returned to them and asked them to leave the plane.

While she said the man advocated for her to stay, and later helped her get a hotel and new flight with a different airline, she had "never been so humiliated in my life".

She said it was even more saddening that they were "discriminated against" on rare disease day, and asked people to stop being ignorant and take the time to listen to each other.

"Happy Rare Disease Day," she wrote.

The post has since gone viral with many commenting that it was extremely sad while others shared their similar experience.

"I know exactly how you feel. I have psoriasis all over my body… I have been humiliated more than one time," said one woman.

But another said it isn't realistic for everyone to recognise a rare disease and recommended getting a doctor's note.

American Airlines has since apologised and refunded the pair's tickets. It is also investigating the matter.

According to the First Skin Foundation, Ichthyosis is characterised by dry, scaling skin that may be either thickened or very thin.

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