On the heels of an October 15th incident of alleged racial discrimination where New York-based activist and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, Tamika Mallory, was kicked off of an American Airlines flight, the NAACP has issued a national travel advisory for American Airlines.
The organization released a statement saying, “The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines. In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing national advisory alerting travelers—especially African Americans—to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”
The advisory went into effect on Tuesday after the organization reviewed a series of reported incidents of misconduct deemed troublesome. “They suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines,” the statement reads. Among the reported incidents:
1. An African-American man was required to relinquish his purchased seats aboard a flight from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh-Durham, merely because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers;
2. Despite having previously booked first-class tickets for herself and a traveling companion, an African-American woman’s seating assignment was switched to the coach section at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat;
3. On a flight bound for New York from Miami, the pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seating assignment changed without her consent; and
4. An African-American woman and her infant child were removed from a flight from Atlanta to New York City when the woman (incidentally a Harvard Law School student) asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she would disembark.
“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm,” stated Derrick Johnson, President, and CEO of the NAACP. “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.”
This article was originally posted on Blavity.com