The NAACP has issued a national travel advisory warning people about flying with American Airlines.
In a press release, the social justice organization said it was “alerting travelers — especially African-Americans — to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”
The advisory was dated Oct. 24 and stands “until further notice.”
The organization said in the statement it has been “monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines” that “suggest a culture of racial insensitivity” on the part of the airline.
The note referenced four separate incidents the NAACP says happened.
The head of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. William Barber, said he was kicked off an American Airlines flight to Raleigh-Durham in 2016 because he is black. He filed a suit in December demanding monetary damages.
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson discussed the advisory on Sirius XM Progress, a progressive talk radio channel, on Tuesday.
“American Airlines has had a particular problem and pattern of African-Americans being removed from the plane,” Johnson says in the interview above. “We want to understand from American Airlines what’s behind this pattern.”
The airline responded to our request for comment in an emailed 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,” American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said. “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.”
We have contacted the NAACP for comment. In August, the organization issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri, saying “race, gender and color based crimes have a long history” in the state.