NAACP issues travel warning about American Airlines

The NAACP has issued a travel advisory warning African Americans about American Airlines.

The civil rights group says it has been monitoring what it considers a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers.  The group claims that American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions. This travel advisory is in effect until further notice.

The advisory cites a number of alleged incidents over the past several months.

Among them: The group claims an African-American man was required to relinquish his purchased seats aboard a flight from Washington, D.C., to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., merely because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers.

In another alleged case, despite having previously booked first-class tickets for herself and a traveling companion, an African-American woman's seating assignment was switched to the coach section at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat.

In another case, on a flight bound for New York from Miami, the pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seating assignment changed without her consent.

Another cited case claims an African-American woman and her infant child were removed from a flight from Atlanta to New York City when the woman asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she would disembark.

The NAACP says it is concerned that those examples may represent only the "tip of the iceberg" of mistreatment of African-American customers by the airline.

An airline spokeswoman was quoted as saying the company was "disappointed" about the advisory and is "committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone."