After being diagnosed with shingles, passenger Jeanne Lehman said that Air Canada kicked her off a flight, according to Insider.
A doctor had already given Lehman the go ahead to fly, and told her she was not contagious, but that did not stop this flight crew from discriminating against her.
Lehman asked to be seated by a window seat, but when the flight attended saw her rash she immediately booted her off the flight without any warning. Lehman asked why she was being escorted off, but no one answered her question.
“No one talked to me,” Lehman said. “No one listened to me.”
Once at the gate the flight attendant screamed that she was contagious.
“She said to me, ‘You’re contagious.’ She was practically screaming it in front of everyone,” Lehman said. “I told her, ‘But I am not contagious! And even if I was, this is not the way to say it. Please don’t say this in front of everyone.'”
“I was treated like an animal,” Lehman said. “When I asked the flight attendant why she was pulling me out of the plane, she didn’t answer me. She didn’t even look at me.”
The flight was cancelled and the airline booked the other passengers hotel stays and flew out the next morning once the plane was cleaned.
They forced Lehman to visit the doctor’s office again, and this time she had to get a doctor’s note saying she was cleared to fly.
“I could’ve told them that I already went to see the doctor. I could’ve even told them which medication they gave me. But no one talked to me, and no one listened to me.”
Lehman believes that race played a huge factor in how this situation was handled.
“The flight attendant wouldn’t have done this to a white woman,” she said. “She wouldn’t have said it so loudly in front of everyone. There is something about a woman like me that makes them think they can say that without consequence.”
Lehman continued: “I feel sure that this is a case of systemic racism.”
In a statement Air Canada said: “For privacy reasons we cannot provide details about individual customers, but we can confirm that once the passenger received medical clearance she was able to travel. Our priority is always the health and safety of our customers and employees, so we acted out of an abundance of caution. Regrettably, the situation resulted in inconvenience for some customers and we will be dealing with them directly.”