The NAACP Has Issued A Travel Advisory Against American Airlines For Black Passengers


In August, the NAACP issued its first ever travel warning for the state of Missouri. Now they’ve issued an advisory warning black passengers that they may experience “disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions” on American Airlines. The advisory details several incidents over the past several months in which black passengers have allegedly been bumped from first class to coach or asked to leave the aircraft entirely. American Airlines denies that it has a culture of racial discrimination, but Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, wrote that the incidents outlined in the advisory are just a small slice of what American Airlines has dished out:

“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm. The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random. We expect an audience with the leadership of American Airlines to air these grievances and to spur corrective action. Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand.”

American Airlines vehemently disavowed the notion that the company is afflicted with systemic racism. In a memo, CEO Doug Parker countered, “We fly over borders, walls and stereotypes to connect people from different races, religions, nationalities, economic backgrounds and sexual orientations. We do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

In one of the incidents described by the NAACP, a black woman flying with a white friend was bumped from first class to coach after arriving at the ticket counter. The advisory doesn’t detail what reasoning, if any, the airline allegedly gave. In another, a black woman was removed from an Atlanta flight after she asked to confirm her stroller would be waiting for her upon arrival, rather than staying stowed in the cargo hold. One of the most grievous accusations involves a man who, after sticking up for himself to two white passengers who were “disrespectful an discriminatory” toward him, was forced from his seat. However, dates, names, and other details were not included in the NAACP’s advisory.

As news of the advisory has spread across the internet, some skeptics say that this isn’t a racial issue at all but indicative of bad service. While it’s true that American Airlines lands in ninth place on Forbes’ ranking of customer satisfaction with legacy airlines, other airlines that rank even lower such as Spirit and Frontier in overall service haven’t had the same accusations of racism leveled against them.

(Via CNN Money)