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.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees