NAACP Warns Black Travelers Against American Airlines
In an advisory released Tuesday, the NAACP said it has noticed “a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines.” The civil rights organization gave four examples of black passengers being forced to give up their seats or being removed from flights. The advisory reads:
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. This travel advisory is in effect beginning today, October 24, 2017, until further notice. …
The NAACP deplores such alarming behavior on the part of airline personnel, and we are aware of these incidents only because the passengers involved knew their rights, knew to speak up and exercised the courage to do so promptly. Historically, the NAACP 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.
The incidents mentioned in the advisory included a black man being required to relinquish his seat after responding to discriminatory comments directed toward him from “two unruly white passengers”; a black woman’s seating assignment being switched from first class to coach at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained in a first-class seat; another black woman being removed from a flight (at the pilot’s direction) after she complained to the gate agent about having her seat assignment changed without her consent; and a black woman and her small child being removed from a flight after the woman asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before the flight took off.
The NAAPC encouraged anyone who has witnessed a similar incident on an American Airlines flight to report it here.
The warning came after the NAACP released a similar warning earlier this year about traveling in the state of Missouri. CNN wrote:
The organization is circulating a travel advisory after the state passed a law that Missouri’s NAACP conference says allows for legal discrimination. The warning cites several discriminatory incidents in Missouri, included as examples of “looming danger” in the state. …The advisory was issued after Senate Bill 43 — which makes it more difficult for employees to prove their protected class, like race or gender, directly led to unlawful discrimination — passed through the Missouri Legislature in June. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed it into law soon after.
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