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Delta Airline Passenger Almost Dies When Flight Crew Refuses To Believe Black Woman Is A Doctor

Houston OBGYN Tamika Cross. Image from Facebook.

Houston OBGYN Tamika Cross [Facebook]

A Black woman who tried to render medical aid to an unresponsive passenger on her Delta flight Sunday said she was barred from doing so because the flight crew just couldn’t believe she was a licensed doctor.

Houston OBGYN Dr. Tamika Cross was flying out of Detroit on a Delta flight when a man two rows in front of her was calling for help and became unresponsive. She jumped in to help save him, only to find herself restrained by the flight crew, who were extremely skeptical that a black woman who had ever set foot in Detroit could be an M.D. See tells her story on her Facebook page.

Dr. Cross said when she pressed her overhead button to again signify that she was a doctor on board, the flight attendant reportedly said, “Oh wow, you’re an actual physician?” The flight attendant then asked Cross for her credentials, where she worked and why she was in Detroit in the first place.

screenshot-67“Please remember this man is still in need of help and [the flight attendant] is blocking my row from even standing up while bombarding me with questions,” Cross noted in her post. “Another ‘seasoned’ white male approaches the row and says he is a physician as well. [The flight attendant] says to me ‘thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials.’ ”

Cross pointed out that the white man never showed his credentials, but he was willingly allowed to help out because he fit the description of a typical doctor: white and male.

Dr. Cross’s post is resonating strongly with Facebook users, who are fed up with stories of needless prejudice like this. Her essay has received more than 76k likes, and almost 30,500 shares (See Dr. Cross complete statement below).

I’m sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected.

Was on Delta flight DL945 and someone 2 rows in front of me was screaming for help. Her husband was unresponsive. I naturally jumped into Doctor mode as no one else was getting up. Unbuckle my seatbelt and throw my tray table up and as I’m about to stand up, flight attendant says “everyone stay calm, it’s just a night terror, he is alright”. I continue to watch the scene closely.

A couple mins later he is unresponsive again and 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 ur 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” I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.

Then overhead they paged “any physician on board please press your button”. I stare at her as I go to press my button. She said “oh wow you’re an actual physician?” I reply yes. She said “let me see your credentials. What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?” (Please remember this man is still in need of help and she is blocking my row from even standing up while
Bombarding me with questions).

I respond “OBGYN, work in Houston, in Detroit for a wedding, but believe it or not they DO HAVE doctors in Detroit. Now excuse me so I can help the man in need”. 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”) I stay seated. Mind blown. Blood boiling. (Man is responding the his questions and is seemingly better now Thank God)

Then this heifer has the nerve to ask for my input on what to do next about 10 mins later. I tell her we need vitals and blood sugar. She comes back to report to me a BP of 80/50 (super low, to my non medical peeps) and they can’t find a glucometer. We continue down that pathway of medical work up, but the point is she needed my help and I continued to help despite the choice words I had saved up for her. The patient and his wife weren’t the problem, they needed help and we were mid-flight.

She came and apologized to me several times and offering me skymiles. I kindly refused. This is going higher than her. I don’t want skymiles in exchange for blatant discrimination. Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this….and I will still get my skymiles….

After the ordeal was over, the Houston doctor said the flight attendant came back to offer her an apology and a few extra Sky Miles. Cross flatly refused.

“I don’t want skymiles in exchange for blatant discrimination,” she said. “Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this…and I will still get my skymiles…”

A representative from Delta has since denounced the in-flight incident and ensured that the company would fully investigate the matter.

“Discrimination of any kind is never acceptable,” Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Catherine Sirna told Atlanta Black Star. “We’ve been in contact with Dr. Cross and one of our senior leaders is reaching out to assure her that we’re completing a full investigation.”


About AJ Woodson (2373 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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