NAACP Lifts Travel Advisory Against American Airlines

Jul 17, 2018

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The NAACP lifted its travel advisory against American Airlines because the carrier has made adequate changes to issues that the NAACP worried left African Americans in danger or discriminated against while flying.

Speaking at the organization’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said he is encouraged by AA’s “commitment to improve upon their internal processes and increase inclusion across their airline. We’re pleased with the outcome we’ve seen.”

The travel advisory was issued in October 2017 after several high-profile racially charged incidents with AA.

One notable incident involved the head of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, Rev. William Barber, who sued the airline after he was kicked off an American flight from Washington, DC (DCA) to Raleigh (RDU) in 2017. According to Barber, the police were called after he asked a flight attendant to tell a white passenger behind him to quiet down. Barber says the white passenger said he had a problem with “those people.”

Since then, American hired an outside firm to review its diversity in regards to its hiring and promotion practices, as well as providing its 130,000 staffers with training on implicit and subtle bias. The online portion of the bias training began in July 2018, and the classroom portion will begin later in the fall.

American additionally created a special customer service team to handle passengers’ discrimination claims. The team will follow up all claims of discrimination with a direct phone call to the passenger who filed it.

AA CEO Doug Parker said the travel advisory was an opportunity for the airline to further improve its customers’ experience. “We can always be better,” he said.


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