NAACP advises black travelers not to fly American Airlines
It is the first time the NAACP has warned Americans against an airline.
— -- The NAACP sent out an advisory on Tuesday night urging African-American travelers not to use American Airlines, one of the nation's largest air carriers.
The civil rights organization, which appointed a new president just three days ago, accused the airline of a "pattern of disturbing incidents."
"We have today taken the action of issuing a national advisory alerting travelers — especially African-Americans — to exercise caution ... Flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions," the NAACP said in a statement sent to reporters Tuesday night.
The statement listed four incidents in 18 months over which the NAACP is accusing the airline of unfair treatment. It is the second travel advisory ever issued by the organization, according to Aba Blankson, its vice president of communications.
Blankson told ABC News the travel advisory is indefinite and the NAACP could reconsider its status after conversations with the airline, which has responded by inviting NAACP leaders to its headquarters in Texas.
On Wednesday morning American Airlines shared a letter from its Chairman and CEO Doug Parker to his employees on the NAACP's actions.
"We were disappointed to learn of a travel advisory issued by the NAACP regarding American Airlines," he said. "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."
American Airlines said in a statement to reporters, "We are disappointed to hear about this travel advisory as our team members — a diverse community of gate agents, pilots and flight attendants — are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds."
It added, "We will invite representatives of the NAACP to meet with our team at our headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. We are committed to having a meaningful dialogue about our airline and are ready to both listen and engage."