The NAACP has issued a travel advisory “warning African Americans about their safety and well being when patronizing American Airlines or traveling on American Airlines flights.”
The civil rights organization cited a series of recent incidents on American flights, including one in which it said an African-American woman, a Harvard Law School student, was forced to get off a plane with her infant when she asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she would disembark.
Last week, an activist who chaired the Women’s March on Washington said she was kicked off an American flight in Miami after a dispute over a seat assignment, according to the Dallas Morning News.
American Airlines in a letter to its employees Wednesday morning said it was “disappointed” to learn of the NAACP travel advisory and said “we do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
The airline said it has reached out to the NAACP and is “eager to meet with them to listen to their issues and concerns.”
Other incidents cited by the NAACP involve an African-American woman who booked a first class ticket but was moved to coach, while her companion who is white was allowed to keep her first class seat; and an African-American man who “was required to relinquish his purchased seats” on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh-Durham for responding to “disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers.”
The NAACP said it is “alerting travelers — especially African Americans — to exercise caution,” and asked for a meeting with American Airlines executives to “air these grievances and to spur corrective action.”
NAACP president Derrick Johnson said in a written statement that the “growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random.”
Last year, Delta expanded its “inclusion training” and reexamined its policies after an incident involving an African-American doctor on a Delta flight who offered to help during a medical emergency on a flight.
— Stay up to date on the latest news on Atlanta airline travel by following Atlanta Airport News Now on Facebook.