Economy

NAACP Issues Travel Advisory For American Airlines; Company Agrees To Meeting

The civil rights organization issued a travel advisory Tuesday, saying it has been following for several months "a pattern of disturbing incidents" reported by African-American travelers patronizing the Fort Worth-based airline.

In another incident cited by the NAACP, an African American man was removed from a plane in Washington, D.C., when he responded to "disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers". "We do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind", Parker said. "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".

An African-American woman was switched from the first-class seats that she paid for to coach while the white person she was traveling with was allowed to remain in first-class.

The NAACP advisory comes a week after popular black activist Tamika Mallory was removed from an American Airlines flight from Miami to NY after a seating dispute with a gate agent.

In its statement, the group noted four recent incidents that "suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines".

American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said he was disappointed by the NAACP's move and that the carrier had contacted the group to arrange a meeting. We expect an audience with the leadership of American Airlines to air these grievances and to spur corrective action.

American said it canceled more than 8,000 flights and lost $75 million in pretax earnings because of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The NAACP issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri this summer, citing the state's record of racial bias in traffic stops, among other things.

American Airlines says it has reached out to the NAACP about the matter.

"Our team members - a diverse community of gate agents, pilots, and flight attendants - are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds", the spokeswoman, Shannon Gilson, said in a statement. It was the first statewide travel advisory ever issued by the organization.



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