NAACP Warns African Americans Against American Airlines

The NAACP is issuing a travel advisory, warning African Americans about compromised safety due to "troublesome conduct" by employees.

“The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines. In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing national advisory alerting travelers — especially African-Americans — to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”

NAACP President Derrick Johnson released a statement on the recently released advisory against American Airlines:

"The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random." 

The organization has cited four different incidents as "possible racial bias": 

  • An African-American man was forced off a flight because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments from two unruly white passengers.
  • An African-American woman was switched from first class to coach, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat.
  • A pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from a flight for complaining about having her seat changed without her consent.
  • An African-American woman and her infant were removed from a flight when the woman asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage.

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson issued a statement:

"We are disappointed to hear about this travel advisory as our team members — a diverse community of gate agents, pilots, and flight attendants — are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds. Every day American is committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us."

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