As the news of the NAACP's travel advisory against American Airlines traveled through Palm Beach International Airport, so did opinions.
American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said the company was "disappointed" to hear about the advisory and is "committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone". "We have reached out to the NAACP and are eager to meet with them to listen to their issues and concerns".
In one, the NAACP said a black woman and her baby were removed from a flight from Atlanta to NY after she asked for their stroller to be retrieved from checked baggage before she left the plane.
On a third flight from Washington, D.C., to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, a black man was forced to give up his seat after he "responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers", according to the NAACP. She took a later flight home to NY on American, then held a news conference two days later and threatened to take legal action against the airline.More news: Ewan McGregor Splits From Wife Of 22 Years, Eve Mavrakis
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Orjih says she's not sure if the poor treatment she's experienced was because of her race but that regardless, American Airlines needs to address the issue.
An African-American woman was removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seating assignment changed without her consent. 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.
"All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm", said company CEO Derrick Johnson. The organization called for an "audience" with the airline.
The NAACP deplores such alarming behavior on the part of airline personnel, and we are aware of these incidents only because the passengers involved knew their rights, knew to speak up and exercised the courage to do so promptly. This summer, the organization circulated an advisory for the entire state of Missouri, following the passing of a law that made it more hard to prove (and sue for) cases of discrimination in the workplace.
"As we work through this in concert with the NAACP", Parker said, "please keep doing the great and noble work you always do: treat our customers and each other with respect; connect diverse groups of people with each other and allow them to see the world; make the world a smaller and more open place; and do it professionally and safely".