NAACP warns travelers about American Airlines


NEW YORK (CBS/WNCN) The NAACP issued an unusual warning late Tuesday night.

The civil rights organization issued what it calls a National Travel Advisory for American Airlines after monitoring a pattern of what it calls “disturbing incidents” reported by African-American passengers on the airline.

The NAACP says it’s alerting black travelers to exercise caution because, “booking and boarding flights could cause them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”

The organization cited four specific incidents in its warning, including one incident involving a woman who said she was removed from a flight to Miami because she complained about her seat.

Also among the examples of racially insensitive or biased treatment the NAACP released was an incident at RDU, in which the group said an African-American man was removed from an American flight after responding to two passengers he felt were being disrespectful.

An NAACP spokesperson suggested the man was Dr. William Barber, the president of the North Carolina NAACP.

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson responded with the following statement.

“We are disappointed to hear about this travel advisory as our team members – a diverse community of gate agents, pilots, and flight attendants – are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds. Every day American is committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.

“We will invite representatives of the NAACP to meet with our team at our headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. We are committed to having a meaningful dialogue about our airline and are ready to both listen and engage.”

American Airlines Group is the largest U.S. commercial airline and one of the world’s biggest based on revenue passenger miles and available seat miles.

Chaudon Jones was at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday to catch an American Airlines flight.

“This is the first time I’m hearing about it, so situations like that, that affect me, myself and my community, I definitely want to find out about,” said Jones.

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