Amanda Stevens says she was booted from a recent flight because, she says she was told, her outfit made a pilot “uncomfortable.”
Stevens, who is a journalist, was boarding her flight from Albany to Chicago to cover a tournament when she says a United employee raised concerns about her A$AP Rocky shirt, which features a black and white American flag flipped upside down. She turned the shirt inside out but, she says, she was then told she had to remove her hat emblazoned with Marvel’s Black Panther logo as well. She tweeted about her experience, sharing photos of her outfits, which she says she’s worn on flights in the past.
Stevens told Buzzfeed that she believes she did nothing wrong, but a flight attendant told her that the pilot “expressed concerns and discomfort over the shirt you’re wearing.”
She refused to remove the hat; she tweeted that she was “kicked off the flight.”
A representative from United, whom Stephens mentioned in her tweets, responded to Stevens asking her to direct message her flight information. The airline offered her a seat on a later flight to Chicago and a first-class upgrade on her return flight, according to Buzzfeed.
Stevens, who is a black trans woman, said her identity has a lot to do with the unfair treatment she received. She told Buzzfeed that she is usually screened twice when going through TSA.
“My father is black, my mom is Caucasian, and people assume I’m Middle Eastern,” she said. “I’ve always grown up with problems, I’ve always dealt with racism.”
United responded to the incident in a statement to HuffPost:
”We are in contact with Ms. Stevens to discuss this matter further. Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Stevens returned to Albany on her upgraded United flight on Tuesday -- wearing the same hat -- and shared that she didn't get booted this time around.
The Huffington Post has reached out to Stevens for comment.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place