Black doctor claims she was racially profiled on a Delta flight to Boston

Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, Delta
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, a physician and expert in obesity medicine, believes she was racially profiled on a recent flight on Delta Airlines. (Twitter/Getty)


A Harvard educated doctor believes she was racially profiled while attempting to aid a stricken passenger during a Delta airlines flight.

Tuesday, Fatima Cody Stanford, a doctor and educator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said she was sitting on a flight from Indianapolis to Boston when the woman sitting next to her began to convulse and hyperventilate.

According to the Boston Globe, Stanford was helping the passenger when a flight attendant stepped in and questioned her about her medical credentials.

After she confirmed that she was a doctor the attendant asked, “So, you’re not a head doctor?”

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At this point, a second flight attendant joined them and asked to see Dr. Cody Standford’s medical license — a request that goes against Delta’s no-credential policy, which was put in place by the airline in 2016, specifically after a Black female doctor was not allowed to help a passenger in distress because an attendant didn’t believe she was a doctor. Sound familiar?

Even after showing proof of her license, the attendant still questioned Dr. Stanford questioning whether it was hers, asking, “This is your license?” before going to the back of the plane.

Dr. Stanford told CNN that even though she was eventually allowed to help the passenger, who was deemed to be having a panic attack and feeling claustrophobic, the constant badgering about her medical background was believed to be “100 percent racially biased.”

“@delta I am very disappointed that your policies on #Diversity have not lead to any change. As a #blackwoman #doctor who showed my #medical license to help a passenger on DL5935 your #flightattendant still did not believe I was a #Physician. @DrSinhaEsq @DrKathyHughes,” she later wrote on Twitter.

“I am so sorry for your frustration Dr. Stanford,” the airline eventually tweeted. “Please know that Delta does not condone discrimination for any reason and we take your comments very seriously. We are looking into further and will be reaching out to you directly.”

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said that the medical license was “initially misread” during the flight and that they were “following up with the crew” to ensure correct policy is understood.

The Boston Globe also reports that Delta has since followed up with a second apology to the doctor.

“We are grateful to our customers who extend kindness and care to one another and who offer to assist customers in need,” the statement read. “The experiences you’ve described are not reflective of Delta’s culture or of the values our employees live out every day.