Wednesday, October 27, 2021

American Airlines CEO ‘Eager to Meet’ With NAACP after Travel Advisory

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker

*The CEO American Airlines said Wednesday that he was “eager to meet” with the NAACP, a day after the civil rights group issued an advisory warning black travelers that flying with the airline could be “unsafe.”

“We were disappointed to learn of a travel advisory issued by the NAACP regarding American Airlines,” said American Airlines CEO Doug Parker in a memo to employees.

Parker continued: “The mission statement of the NAACP states that it ‘seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination.’ That’s a mission that the people of American Airlines endorse and facilitate every day – we do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have reached out to the NAACP and are eager to meet with them to listen to their issues and concerns.”

As previously reported, the NAACP’s advisory highlighted “a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” and argued the events suggest “a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and a possible racial bias.”

According to Time, the company’s stock is down about 1.5% as of late Wednesday morning, though it isn’t clear if that dip is tied to the NAACP’s warnings.

Read Parker’s memo to American Airlines employees in full below:

Dear Fellow Team Members,

Of all the really important things our team members do – and that list is long – bringing people together is at the top. We fly over borders, walls and stereotypes to connect people from different races, religions, nationalities, economic backgrounds and sexual orientations. We make the world a smaller, more inclusive place. And we do it professionally and safely every day for more than 500,000 customers across five continents.

So, we were disappointed to learn of a travel advisory issued by the NAACP regarding American Airlines. The mission statement of the NAACP states that it “seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination.” That’s a mission that the people of American Airlines endorse and facilitate every day – we do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have reached out to the NAACP and are eager to meet with them to listen to their issues and concerns.

As we work through this in concert with the NAACP, 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.

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