The NAACP said over several months it has learned about disturbing situations reported by passengers, including Tamika Mallory's claim in a Facebook post she was kicked off a flight by the pilot following a dispute with an airline employee over her seat.
The travel advisory issued Tuesday is the latest supported by the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, which saw its Missouri chapter in June issue a similar advisory for that state after various cases of alleged discrimination. Parker said the company was disappointed to learn of the travel advisory and is "eager to meet with [the NAACP] to listen to their issues and concerns".
"The NAACP said it has issued travel advisories in the past when "conditions on the ground pose a substantial risk of harm to black Americans, and we are concerned today that the examples cited herein may represent only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to American Airlines" documented mistreatment of African American customers".
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In another incident, a black woman was moved to the coach section at the ticket counter despite having booked first-class tickets for herself and a travelling companion.
The NAACP highlighted four recent incidents in which African American passengers said they were treated in a discriminatory way.
One such example involved a black woman and her baby being removed from an Atlanta to NY flight after she asked for her stroller to be brought in from checked baggage before leaving the plane.
On a third instance, a black man had to give up his seat for responding "to disrespectful and discriminatory comments" that two white passengers directed at him.
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It said the incidents "suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias" and advised travelers to exercise caution.
American Airlines, which has 120,000 employees, has invited NAACP representatives to meet at the company headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, for "a meaningful dialogue".
"Our team members, a diverse community of gate agents, pilots, and flight attendants, are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds", said an American Airlines in a statement to CNN. The flight bound for NY faced a five-hour delay due to weather and passengers were asked to return to the terminal's waiting area after boarding.
"The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that can not be dismissed as normal or random", Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said in the published statement.
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In August, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri in aftermath of high-profile incidents of police brutality. This travel advisory is in effect beginning today, October 24, 2017, until further notice.