NAACP warns black passengers about traveling with American Airlines

Alicia Cross
October 28, 2017

"We have today taken the action of issuing a national advisory alerting travelers - especially African-Americans - to exercise caution. flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions", a release sent to reporters Tuesday night says.

"The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that can not be dismissed as normal or random", the group's newly-elected president Derrick Johnson said.

Historically, the NAACP said, it has issued travel advisories "when conditions on the ground pose a substantial risk of harm to black Americans, and we are concerned today that the examples cited herein may represent only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to American Airlines' documented mistreatment of African-American customers".

In a statement given to BuzzFeed News, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, "We were disappointed to learn of a travel advisory issued by the NAACP regarding American Airlines". "We do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind".

He said the airline has reached out to the NAACP to meet with them.

On Wednesday morning, American Airlines shared a letter from the CEO to his employees on the NAACP's actions.

In citing the four recent incidents in which African American passengers reported discrimination by American, NAACP officials did not list flight numbers, dates, names of passengers, or cities involved in every case.

Another passenger was removed from a flight after she complained to a gate agent after having her seating assignment changed without her consent.

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The civil rights group is also now encouraging passengers to go online to report similar incidents, prompting some local experts to wonder if the discontent will multiply.

Barber says he was kicked off an AA flight in 2016 after responding to two verbally abusive white passengers, who were allowed to remain on the flight.

However, in one instance raised by the group, an African-American female passenger and their fellow traveller, who was white, were booked in first class seats.

The statement adds: "We will invite representatives of the NAACP to meet with our team at our headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas". NAACP President Derrick Johnson had called for a meeting with the airline's leadership.

"It's been many years that we thought has passing but you know it still lingers", Willie Matthews, Jr, who lives in Virginia, said.

The advisory, which is effective from October 24 until "further notice", was issued following a series of "disturbing incidents" involving black passengers that suggest a "corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias", the organization said.

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

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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