The NAACP issued a nationwide travel advisory on Tuesday warning black passengers to be wary of flying American Airlines amid a “pattern of disturbing incidents.”
The civil rights group warned that “booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject (black passengers) to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”
American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told CNN that the company was “disappointed” to hear about the NAACP advisory and vowed that American Airlines is committed to safe travel for everyone.
Officials with the NAACP said the group has spent several months monitoring reports of “disturbing incidents” from African-American passengers.
Among those, officials pointed to an incident on a flight from Atlanta to New York in which an African-American woman said she and her infant child were removed from a flight because she asked if someone would get her stroller before they got off the plane.
“The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random,” said Derrick Johnson, who was named president and CEO of the NAACP last week. “Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand.”
Gilson told CNN that American Airlines planned to invite representatives of the NAACP to the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, in response to the group’s call for a meeting with airline leadership.
"We are committed to having a meaningful dialogue about our airline and are ready to both listen and engage," she told the news station.
The travel advisory issued by the NAACP on Tuesday is the second from the group in recent months. In August, officials warned black travelers to steer clear of Missouri due to the high risk of unnecessary search and seizure for African-Americans in the state.
The August advisory was the first ever issued by the NAACP for a state.