Latisha "Tisha" Rowe said she and her son boarded aircraft from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami, Florida, June 30, when an airline employee asked them to leave the plane to speak, lawyer Geoffrey Berg told CNN.
Rowe was told she would not be allowed to fly unless she covered herself, Berg said. Her thighs and arms were exposed in the strapless torso.
Rowe said the employee asked if she had a jacket and ended up giving her a blanket to wrap around, Berg said.
Rowe tweeted about her experience and shared a picture of the outfit she wore.
"Here's what I was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to divert for a conversation. At which point I was asked to" cover up. "When I defended my outfit, I was threatened not to come back on the plane with unless I walked down the aisle of a carpet. #notsofriendlyskies, she wrote.
Rowe, who identifies as black, says black women face a double standard.
Shannon Gilson, American Airlines spokesman, said the company is investigating.
"We were worried about Dr. Rowe's comments and reached out to her and our team at Kingston Airport to gather more information on what happened. We apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience and fully refunded their trip. We are proud to be able to serve customers with all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive and safe travel experience for anyone flying with us, says Gilson in a statement.
Rowe, a family in Houston medicine, said her 8-year-old son was destroyed by the incident and took the blanket when they were sitting and covering his face. Berg said. He was in tears when she checked on him, Berg said.
Berg said American Airlines "has been given the opportunity to do the right thing," and that includes taking steps to "make sure people aren't being treated this way, especially women of color." He said Rowe is considering one lawsuit against the airline.  Gilson told CNN that the airline is planning to hire a chief integration and diversity officer, but did not say it was related to this recent incident.