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. 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.

AA, american airlines, naacp
Image courtesy of American Airlines.
The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.