American Airlines to Require Anti-Discrimination Training for Employees
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines is making anti-racism training mandatory for its employees as well as implementing a series of institutional changes to address bias, it announced last week. The move came in direct response to a travel advisory the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) issued in late October warning African-Americans that they might be treated unfairly by the airline.
“[D]iscrimination and implicit bias sometimes create outcomes that are less than ideal for many of our team members and customers,” AA CEO Doug Parker said in a letter to employees sent on Nov. 30, after a meeting with NAACP officials. “We think corporate America can make a difference in diversity and inclusion, and we at American want to be leaders in that regard.”
Nevertheless, the NAACP said it wasn’t rescinding its travel advisory until it saw concrete results, though “[t]his is a good start to changing internal processes that allow for discrimination, racism and implicit bias to continue to exist within companies,” NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement.
Parker said AA would hire an independent firm to help it achieve the following steps:
- a nine-month, “top-to-bottom” review of company policies
- require all 120,000 employees to undergo revamped bias-awareness and conflict-resolution training
- create a new team focusing specifically on passengers’ discrimination claims
- reassess and strengthen the way the company handles complaints of discrimination by employees
Still, real progress will have to be measured by how AA does on a number of issues — which the NAACP will continue to advise the company on, NAACP communications director Malik Russell said in an email.
“There are multiple factors and measures involved, so it’s not a flat analysis,” he said. “We are planning meetings with the airline on a regular basis where we can look at key indicators and discuss the progress being made.”
When it announced the advisory, the NAACP cited four specific incidents in which black passengers said they were treated poorly by American staff while non-black passengers were not. Johnson said that they were merely examples of a disturbing trend in which racial bias seemed to be pervading the airline’s corporate culture.
Read the full version of Parker’s letter to employees here.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees