Discrimination Alert! Airline industry to work with NAACP to tackle racist claims

Phoenix, Arizona – American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, has announced plans to implement new measures following an incident where eight Black passengers were wrongly removed from a Phoenix to New York flight due to a complaint about body odor. The removal of the passengers, who did not know each other and were not seated together, sparked outrage and led to a lawsuit against the carrier.

CEO Robert Isom expressed disappointment over the incident, stating that the passengers’ treatment was unacceptable and that the airline had failed to uphold its commitments. In response, American Airlines has vowed to create an advisory group, work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and update its policies for handling customer-discrimination claims.

The airline’s statement also mentioned holding those involved in the incident accountable, including removing team members from service. Additionally, American Airlines is revising its procedures for addressing customer allegations of discrimination and bias, as well as the criteria for removing passengers from a flight.

The NAACP previously issued a travel advisory for Black travelers to avoid American Airlines due to concerns about discriminatory behavior and a corporate culture of racial insensitivity. While the advisory was lifted, the group warned that it could be reinstated if the airline did not respond swiftly and decisively to the situation.

In a recent statement, the NAACP expressed appreciation for American Airlines’ initial steps towards a more inclusive experience but highlighted the prevalence of racism and discrimination faced by Black consumers from corporations. Meanwhile, settlement discussions are reportedly underway to resolve the lawsuit filed by the affected passengers against the airline.

American Airlines’ commitment to addressing customer discrimination claims and rebuilding trust with diverse communities reflects a broader effort within the airline industry to promote inclusivity and combat racial bias. The outcome of these initiatives will be closely monitored by advocacy groups and passengers alike to ensure accountability and equity in air travel.