The NAACP announced Tuesday that it’s lifting its American Airlines travel advisory, saying it was encouraged by the progress the airline had made in addressing issues of implicit bias.
The advisory cautioning black passengers to beware of traveling on the airline was issued last October after several high-profile incidents involving African American travelers. The warning was only the second of its kind coming from the NAACP and the first against an airline.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson made the announcement rescinding the travel warning at the organization’s national convention in San Antonio, Texas.
“We have worked with American Airlines for nearly a year, and they have taken substantive action to begin to address implicit bias,” Johnson said.
“They have embraced the situation and we are encouraged by their commitment to improve upon their internal processes and increase inclusion across their airline,” he said, adding that the organization will continue monitoring the airline’s progress and share feedback with them.
In December, it mandated anti-racism training for all its employees, which will officially begin this month in an online format (classroom training is scheduled for the fall).
And, according to the Washington Post, the airline has also created a dedicated unit to handle passengers complaints alleging discrimination. Customers who file these claims will also be followed up with directly via a phone call to discuss the incident, the Post writes.
The travel advisory against the world’s biggest airline went into effect after a string of incidents involving black passengers. Among them was civil rights activist Tamika Mallory, who was ejected from a flight by an American Airlines pilot over a dispute about a seat. The former head of North Carolina’s NAACP, Rev. William Barber, was also ejected from a flight after asking a flight attendant to quiet down two drunk, white passengers.
At the time the travel advisory was announced, Johnson told USA Today he wanted to see the airline institute racial sensitivity training for its employees and increase its racial diversity across its workforce before the organization would lift the warning.