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American Airlines CEO Apologizes for Removal of Black Passengers Over Body Odor Complaint

American Airlines Apologizes for Removal of Black Passengers Over Body Odor
American Airlines

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom has apologized for the removal of several Black passengers from a flight in Phoenix last January, citing a complaint about body odor. The incident has sparked allegations of racial discrimination, with three Black passengers filing a lawsuit against the airline.

According to the lawsuit, a white male flight attendant complained about an unidentified passenger’s body odor, leading to the removal of eight Black passengers, including the three plaintiffs. The passengers claimed they were discriminated against and demanded an explanation from airline personnel.

Isom has acknowledged the incident as “unacceptable” and “contradictory to our values.” The airline has placed an unspecified number of employees on leave and is taking steps to address the issue, including the formation of an advisory group to enhance the experience of Black customers and promote diversity training.

This is not the first time American Airlines has faced allegations of discrimination. In 2017, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for Black passengers flying with the airline due to multiple discrimination complaints. The advisory was lifted nearly nine months later after the airline committed to making changes.

The incident has sparked outrage and calls for greater accountability from the airline industry. The NAACP has been contacted for comment, but has not responded.

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