Rights group warns black travelers against American Airlines

Rights group warns black travelers against American Airlines

Rights group warns black travelers against American Airlines

The NAACP is urging black travelers to be cautious when booking and boarding flights with American Airlines, telling them they could be put in a discriminatory or unsafe situation.

The NAACP says it has been monitoring a series of "disturbing incidents" reported by black passengers for several months.

American Airlines has invited the NAACP to meet after the civil rights group warned African Americans against flying on the Fort Worth-based airline. 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.

An African-American woman was moved to the coach section from first class while her white traveling companion remained in first class.

The NAACP didn't provide the name of the woman or say when the events it described are alleged to have taken place.

An African-American woman and her baby were removed from a flight when the woman asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she got off the plane.

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In one incident, the NAACP said the pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seat changed without notice. The social justice advocacy organization listed a number of incidents it referred to as "troublesome conduct by American Airlines" that suggest "a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias" on the part of the airline. The NAACP did not immediately respond to Bustle's request for comment, and we will update this post when they do.

According to American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson, the company was disappointed to hear about the travel advisory because American's team members "are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds". 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. "This type of rhetoric paralyzes the African-American community, and I want to ensure that policies are put in place that regulate the pilot's discretionary abilities".

The NAACP listed some of the incidents accusing American Airlines of racial discrimination.

"All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm", Derrick Johnson, NAACP president said in a statement, adding the advisory would stand until American Airlines addressed their concerns and grievances.

It said at the time that the Missouri advisory was the first ever issued by the organization, at the state or national level.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker sent an internal memo to American staff addressing the controversy, which was provided to Bustle by the company.

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