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Statement from the President - NAACP
Press Statement June 4, 2024

NAACP Calls on American Airlines to Respond to Pattern of Discrimination

Statement from the President - NAACP


June 4, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON - Following a lawsuit filed by several African-American men accusing American Airlines of discriminatory behavior, additional reports of discrimination have surfaced which convey a troubling pattern of a failure to address harmful behaviors. Upon the lawsuit filing, American Airlines released a statement regarding an open investigation into these incidents. As of June 4, the airline's leadership has yet to provide an update on the pending investigation. 

NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson has released the following statement, requesting a swift and decisive response from American Airlines:

"The NAACP is proud to champion efforts to hold corporations accountable. The removal of our travel advisory in 2018 came as a result of a commitment to deliver on key stipulations that would prevent future discriminatory acts, one of which was a diversity, equity, and inclusion advisory council. Amidst the resurgence of attacks on DEI, American Airlines disbanded the panel in 2023. 

Recent discriminatory actions from company employees prove that there is a dire need for continued accountability and resolution to this clear pattern. We encourage American Airlines to come revive the advisory panel and reconvene with the NAACP to devise a path forward that ensures equitable experiences for all American Airlines customers. Without a swift and decisive response, the NAACP will be forced to reinstate an advisory against the airline."

Following reports of hostility toward Black passengers in October 2017, the NAACP issued a travel advisory, warning Black Americans of potential discrimination they could face when flying with the airline. The Association extended an opportunity for the corporation to resolve this issue through several stipulations, one of which included the advisory council referenced above. Upon acceptance of the terms, the NAACP lifted the advisory in July 2018. 

The NAACP continues to work, forging a path forward where diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained into the fabric of corporate America, holding corporations accountable to their duties to Black consumers who drive our nation's economy. To learn more about NAACP's corporate responsibility work, visit our website. 



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.