On Tuesday (July 17), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced the lifting of its travel advisory against American Airlines. According to a press release, the civil rights organization stated that after months of monitoring the airline’s progress on the commitments they agreed to last year—including a diversity and inclusion gap analysis, implicit bias training for their 130,000 staff members, and the implementation of a new discrimination complaint resolution process for both their team and customers—many improvements have been made.
“We have worked with American Airlines for nearly a year, and they have taken substantive action to begin to address implicit bias,” Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, said in the release. “They have embraced the situation and we are encouraged by their commitment to improve upon their internal processes and increase inclusion across their airline. Our work with American has included very candid, open and ongoing dialogue about the realities for African-Americans who travel with American and other airlines, and we will continue to monitor progress and share feedback with them.”
Doug Parker, CEO and Chairman of American Airlines added, “Today’s news belongs to American’s 130,000 team members who have enthusiastically embraced our goal to lead all industry in diversity, inclusion and equality. This is work that will never be complete, but we are making great progress. We thank the NAACP for recognizing our progress and look forward to working with them in the future as we continue on this mission.”
The NAACP put their travel ban in place in October in the wake of multiple incidents, one of which included activist and Women’s March on Washington co-chair Tamika Mallory being kicked off of a flight over a seating dispute.
In 2016, the Rev. William Barber sued American Airlines after being forced from a flight from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. In his account, Barber stated a passenger made a comment about having issues with “those people.”