The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP issued a travel advisory on Tuesday (24 October) warning black people against travelling on American Airlines flights over alleged racial discrimination.
Addressing the African American population in the US, the NAACP statement noted that "booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions".
NAACP explained that the warning was based on a series of "disturbing incidents" reported to them over the past several months by African-American passengers. All the incidents were specific to American Airlines, it noted in the statement.
The organisation listed the alleged incidents that were reported to them in the recent past. One incident involved a black man, who was forced to give up his seat on a flight from Washington DC to Raleigh-Durham because "he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed towards him by two unruly white passengers".
In two other cases, two African-American women were reassigned their seats without their consent in their respective flights. In one of these cases, the female flier had pre-booked her seat with a white companion, but only she was made to move. In the other incident, the woman was removed from the flight after protesting the change.
In a different case reported to NAACP, an African-American woman said that she and her infant were removed from a flight from Atlanta to New York City when she requested the flight crew that her child's stroller be retrieved from checked-in baggage before she would disembark.
"The series of recent incidents involve troublesome conduct by American Airlines and they suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines," NAACP said, urging the American Airlines to resolve these grievances.
"All travellers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm," Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, said.