Tamika Mallory, a co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, said a pilot kicked her off an American Airlines plane in Miami after observing her conversation with a gate agent.
When she arrived at Miami International Airport, she used an airport kiosk to change her seat assignment from a middle to an aisle seat, she told the New York Daily News. But at the gate, the agent gave her a ticket for a middle seat. When she asked why, she said the agent was disrespectful to her.
Once she was on the plane, the pilot questioned her. "[H]e said to me, 'Can you get on this flight? Are you going to be a problem on this flight?' I said, 'No, I’m not. Actually, I’m fine. But I will write my complaint down," Mallory said. "He looked at me and said, 'You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.'"
After she had already sat down in her middle seat, there was an announcement asking her to come to the front of the plane. There, she said the pilot pointed at her and said, "Her, off." Then, she said police arrived. A person she was traveling with was also ejected from the flight, and the airline did not offer them an explanation for its actions, she added.
"It definitely was white male aggression. I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against," Mallory told the Daily News.
Mallory, an entrepreneur who advocates for women's rights, gun control, and speaks out against police brutality, was in Miami for the Revolt Music Conference and had been planning to attend the wedding of Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter on Sunday afternoon. She said that after she tweeted at the airline, a rep offered to rebook her on another flight that night. She ended up missing the wedding.
American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed told the Daily News: "We take these allegations seriously, and we are in the process of reaching out to our colleagues in Miami, as well as Ms. Mallory, to obtain additional information on what transpired during the boarding process."
Mallory is continuing to speak out about her experience. Last night, she posted a Facebook Live on which she discussed the incident in more detail. But some of the comments she received show that many people don't believe Black women when they tell stories of discrimination.
Other Black women came to Mallory's support with their own accounts of being mistreated and discriminated against while traveling. Just a few months ago, political strategist and CNN commentator Symone Sanders said she was trying to check her luggage when airline officials called the police for no apparent reason.
We reached out to Tamika Mallory for comment and will update this post when we hear back.