Flight attendant stops black doctor from helping passenger

Dr Cross was flying between Houston and Detroit with Delta Air Lines (AAP)
Dr Cross was flying between Houston and Detroit with Delta Air Lines (AAP)

An African-American woman says she's "sick of being disrespected" after a flight attendant prevented her from helping someone needing treatment because she didn't believe she was a doctor.

Dr Tamika Cross, an obstetrician-gynaecologist from Houston, said she was "continually cut off by condescending remarks" from the flight attendant when she attempted to explain she was a physician.

Dr Cross was flying between Houston and Detroit with Delta Air Lines.

"The flight attendant yells, 'call overhead for a physician on board'. I raised my hand to grab her attention.

"She said to me, '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,'" she wrote in an angry post on Facebook.

Dr Cross said she was bombarded with questions about her credentials and where she worked, before having her input rejected altogether in favour of a Caucasian man.

"Another 'seasoned' white male approaches the row and says he is a physician as well. She says to me, 'Thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials.' Mind you, he hasn't shown anything to her - just showed up and fit the 'description of a doctor'," she wrote.

"I stay seated. Mind blown. Blood boiling."

After a short time, the flight attendant, whom Dr Cross refers to as a "heifer", returned and asked her what they should do next.

Dr Cross explained that she gave the flight attendant medical advice and freely offered help in the face of "blatant discrimination".

"The point is she needed my help and I continued to help despite the choice of words I had saved up for her.

"The patient and his wife weren't the problem; they needed help and we were mid-flight."

Dr Cross said the flight attendant later apologised "several times" and offered her discounted flights, but she refused and vowed to take the incident to her superiors.

"This is going higher than her. I don't want SkyMiles in exchange for blatant discrimination," she wrote.

"Whether this was race, age [or] gender discrimination, it's not right. She will not get away with this, and I will still get my SkyMiles."