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Delta changes policy in response to black female doctor discrimination incident

Delta Air Lines said this week that after an incident earlier this year involving Dr. Tamika Cross, a passenger who offered to help during a medical emergency in flight but was rebuffed and raised concerns about discrimination, the airline changed its policies.

The airline invited Cross to visit Delta for discussion and for Delta to apologize, and Cross also spoke with Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Delta said after the incident, it decided effective Dec. 1 that flight attendants are not required to verify medical credentials. The airline also learned that there is no legal or regulatory requirement to verify medical credentials, and that many doctors and nurses do not carry a license with them because they can be verified online.

Delta said “the feedback Dr. Cross provided gave us a chance to make flying better,” according to Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service Allison Ausband in a written statement.

The airline also said it would broaden "inclusion training" to managers and to front-line employees who deal with customers, including flight attendants.


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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.