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Delta changes policy after black doctor's complaints go viral

Dec 22, 2016

Delta Airlines has changed a policy after an African American doctor raised concerns about discriminatory treatment by a crew member. 

Flight attendants are no longer required to verify the credentials of medical personnel who volunteer during in-flight medical emergencies.  Instead, they can rely on the volunteer's statement that he or she is a physician, physician's assistant, nurse, paramedic or EMT.

The new policy comes in the aftermath of Dr. Tamika Cross'  October Facebook post charging that a Delta flight attendant repeatedly rejected her offers to help a sick passenger. Cross posted that the flight attendant did not believe Cross was a physician, while she did accept help from a white male doctor.

In the viral posting, Cross wrote, "Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it's not right."

In a written statement, Delta said Cross' description of the incident sparked an investigation and the new policy. Delta also said that in 2017, the airline will begin rolling out inclusion training to frontline workers, like flight attendants.

"As part of the review, Delta found there is no legal or regulatory requirement upon the airline to view medical professional credentials. And, as it becomes more and more common for medical licenses to be verified on line, physicians and nurses often do not carry a license with them and some states no longer issue wallet versions."