NAACP warns black passengers about traveling with American Airlines

26 October, 2017, 01:18 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Activist Tamika Mallory said a pilot insisted she was removed from a flight in Miami after a dispute over her seat

The NAACP is warning black travelers to be careful on American Airlines.

In the advisory, the NAACP listed four incidents in which black passengers said they were discriminated against by AA employees.

In a letter to employees, American Airlines chairman and CEO Doug Parker strongly defended the company's record of professionalism, safety and inclusivity. The organization said that the slew of recent incidents may only be the "tip of the iceberg" in American Airlines' documented mistreatment of black customers.

"We are committed to having a meaningful dialogue about our airline and are ready to both listen and engage", Gilson said.

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A woman who booked first-class tickets for herself and a traveling companion said she was switched to the coach section at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat.

In another case, the group says, a black woman and her infant child were taken off a flight from Atlanta to NY when she asked that her stroller be retrieved from the checked baggage before she got off the plane.

He said he had been required by flight attendants to give up his seat after he responded to "disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers".

The series of recent incidents involve troublesome conduct by American Airlines and they suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines. After Mallory shared her story via Twitter, people began to use the hashtag #Happened2MeOnAA to tell their own stories about facing discriminatory behavior while flying with American Airlines.

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One involved the head of the North Carolina NAACP, the Rev. William Barber, who sued American after being removed from a flight past year.

The NAACP said it has historically issued travel advisories when "conditions on the ground pose a substantial risk of harm to black Americans". The flight bound for NY faced a five-hour delay due to weather and passengers were asked to return to the terminal's waiting area after boarding. "The pilot put me in a potentially unsafe situation with law enforcement as a young, black woman, saying that I was a 'threat, '" Williams, a Harvard Law School student, told the New York Daily News. The organization called for an "audience" with the airline. "Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand".

In a statement, the NAACP pointed to perceived discrimination.

On Oct. 16, Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the Women's March, accused an American Airlines pilot of racial discrimination for kicking her off a flight after he overheard her dispute with a gate agent over her seating assignment. This summer, the organization circulated an advisory for the entire state of Missouri, following the passing of a law that made it more hard to prove (and sue for) cases of discrimination in the workplace.

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