Black airline passenger “embarrassed and heartbroken” that white woman asked her to move
A Black Spirit Airlines passenger was told to relocate to another seat after a white woman refused to sit next to her, which she now believes was racially motivated.
“I had to ask someone to switch seats with me because she didn’t want to sit by a Black woman in 2019!” Tiarra detailed on Facebook posts.
The incident happened on a Spirit flight from Vegas to Chicago. When she tried to sit down, Tiarra, whose last name is unknown, said an unidentified woman “refused to let me sit by her,” according to Yahoo.
“[She] refuses it to the point that she is arguing with the flight attendant about how she is not going to let me sit by her,” Tiarra explained on a Facebook post. “This 4-hour flight is about to feel like a lifetime. I’m so embarrassed and heartbroken.”
Tiara claims that she was told to ask other passengers if they could switch seats with her, which she did. She said the woman told her that “she thought the seat was going to be empty,” adding that the woman “allowed the young white college student,” whom Tiara found as a replacement, “to sit next to her with no issue.”
Tiara said flight attendants thanked her for moving and for being a “team player,” although she said she feels upset about the whole ordeal.
“I shouldn’t have needed to switch seats to accommodate her choice of what race she wanted next to her and her husband,” she wrote.
Tiara also faults Spirit Airlines, whom she claims put the white woman’s requests over her right to sit in her plane seat unbothered.
“Why do I have to be a team player to someone who is obviously putting her racist cards on the table,” Tiarra wrote on Facebook.
According to a statement obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle, Spirit Airlines says it has “zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind on our flights,” and is investigating the incident.
“[Spirit Airlines has] launched an investigation into this incident and we have reached out directly to the Guest to address her concerns,” according to the statement. “Spirit Airlines has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind on our flights and we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive and safe environment for our Guests.”