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It always makes matters worse when someone tries to explain why they hurt you instead of outright apologizing.

That was the case for Delta Airlines, which faced a mountain of public scrutiny after denying OBGYN Tamika Cross the opportunity to help a sick passenger because a flight attendant did not believe she was a medical professional. A female passenger who was seated two rows ahead of Cross called out for assistance after her husband became unresponsive during a flight to Detroit.

Cross attempted to assist the couple but after a White male entered the situation, the flight attendant told Cross they would seek help from him, saying, “Thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials.” After Dr. Tamika Cross posted about the situation on Facebook, social media erupted with the hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike.

Delta then released a statement:

“We are troubled by any accusations of discrimination and take them very seriously. The experience Dr. Cross has described is not reflective of Delta’s culture or of the values our employees live out every day. We are in the process of conducting a full investigation. We’ve reached out to Dr. Cross to speak with her directly, talked with our crew members and we’re reaching out to customers who were on board to gather as much information as we can. While there is much we can’t share because our investigation involves confidential personnel matters, we do want to share what we can.”

The airline continued to explain the situation, instead of taking responsibility for doubting Dr. Cross’ credentials.

“Three medical professionals identified themselves on the flight in question. Only one was able to produce documentation of medical training and that is the doctor who was asked to assist the customer onboard. In addition, paramedics met the flight to assist the customer further. Flight attendants are trained to collect information from medical volunteers offering to assist with an onboard medical emergency. When an individual’s medical identification isn’t available, they’re instructed to ask questions such as where medical training was received or whether an individual has a business card or other documentation and ultimately to use their best judgment. Delta’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect of all of our customers worldwide is rooted deeply in our company’s values and culture. As a global carrier with a diverse workforce, serving a diverse customer base, we are committed to treating all passengers with kindness and respect.”

The incident is still being investigated.


Friendly Skies? Delta Tries To Explain Discrimination Against Dr. Tamika Cross  was originally published on