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3 Black Men Sue American Airlines for Alleged Racial Discrimination

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American Airlines

(CTN News) – Three black passengers who were briefly ordered off an American Airlines plane in January filed a lawsuit against the airline on Wednesday, alleging racial discrimination.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, states that the men were asked to leave a plane that was waiting to take off in Phoenix. They observed five other black men who were also removed from the flight.

According to the lawsuit, the three men did not know each other and had been seated in different parts of the plane. They claim an airline employee informed them they were being removed because a flight attendant had complained about a passenger’s body odor.

The men argued that they appeared to have been singled out for removal solely because of their race.

After American Airlines offered to rebook them, and it became evident that no other flights were available to New York that evening, the men were allowed to reboard the plane, as detailed in the lawsuit filed by Public Citizen, a consumer-advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader.

“If American Airlines received a complaint about a Black male passenger with offensive body odor but could not verify the complaint, the solution should not have been to eject eight separate Black men from the plane,” stated Susan Huhta, an employment law attorney in Washington, D.C., who represents the three men.

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American Airlines Investigates Discrimination Claims

American Airlines has responded by saying it is investigating the claims. “We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us,” the airline said in a statement.

“Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people.”

This incident recalls a 2017 warning from the NAACP, which advised Black travelers about potential discrimination when flying with American Airlines.

The advisory was based on several reports of discrimination against African American passengers. The airline committed to making changes, and the NAACP later lifted the advisory.


Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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