The NAACP warned travelers who are African-American to be careful when they book American Airlines flights. The group issued its advisory late on Tuesday, saying that it noticed that there had been a pattern of disturbing incidents that African-American passengers had reported specific to the airline.
The advisory said the incidents have suggested a corporate culture of possible racial insensitivity and bias, and it advised that travelers exercise caution.
Booking as well as boarding flights by American Airlines may subject them to discriminatory, unsafe or disrespectful conditions, added the advisory.
A spokesperson for American Airlines said the airline was disappointed to hear of the advisory and remains committed to providing a safe, positive travel experience to everyone.
The spokesperson added that the airline’s team members, who are a diverse community of pilots, flight attendants and gate agents, are proud in serving customers from all backgrounds.
The President of the NAACP Derrick Johnson called for a meeting with the leadership of the airline and the spokesperson for the airline said the organization’s representatives would be invited to the headquarters of the airline in Texas.
She added that the airline was committed to a meaningful dialogue about the airline and was ready to listen as well as engage.
The NAACP described four incidents including one where an African-American female and her child, who was an infant, were taken off a flight bound for New York from Atlanta after the woman requested that her stroller be retrieved from where she checked it before she exited the plane.
The NAACP did not provide the woman’s name and did not say when the incidents that it described were alleged to have happened. American Airlines did not make a comment about any of the specific allegations made by the NAACP.
Johnson said the listing of incidents involves a behavior which cannot be considered as normal or random and therefore dismissed.
In August, the NAACP issued an advisory for travel in Missouri, citing a number of incidents that were discriminatory in the state. The advisory said individual visitors traveling in the state should use extreme caution.
The NAACP said, during August when it issued the advisory it was the first the organization has ever issued, at the national or state level.