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American Airlines denies 1st class seat to black passenger

RBH

Member
Apr 19, 2007
54,203
1
1,395
On May 2, Rane Baldwin checked into American Airlines Flight 5389, leaving Kentucky for Charlotte, N.C. Baldwin, a black woman, and her friend Janet Novack, a white woman, were traveling together, and both had first-class seats because Baldwin bought and upgraded the tickets. But unfortunately for Baldwin, she was literally moved to the back of the plane.

In an interview with The Root, Baldwin said that the flight got off to a bumpy ride, even before takeoff, when the ticket agent scanned her first-class boarding pass and then handed her a ticket that showed her seat was at the back of the plane. Baldwin said that the agent didn’t offer any explanation until she questioned him. She said that she was then told that she had been assigned a new seat because a plane change left fewer first-class seats. However, Novack’s seat wasn’t changed.

As Baldwin and Novack boarded their flight, Baldwin said, she tried to complain to the flight attendant but was completely ignored, unlike Novack. But even when Novack decided to move from first class to sit with Baldwin in the back of the plane, another flight attendant offered Novack another seat elsewhere.

“When I went back to the front to ask what was happening, she said that the first-class cabin was full and that there was nothing she could do,” Baldwin said. “At this point, the plane was fully boarded, but there were multiple empty rows at the front of the main cabin. I ignored my seat assignment, sat at the front, and my friend left first class and came back to join me.

“When the second flight attendant came through for a cabin check, he saw us (already buckled in, arm rest in between us up) and told my friend that there was plenty of extra space and that we could ‘spread out’ if she wanted to. He did not say this to anyone else,” Baldwin continued.

Both Baldwin and Novack were left dismayed over what was happening to them on the flight. Novack took to Twitter and fired off tweets to American Airlines:

Baldwin said that she sent a letter of complaint to American Airlines but has not heard back from the airline yet.

“I’ve never felt so unimportant my entire life. This flight was the most blatantly racist thing that’s ever happened to me. It was baffling and hurtful that the crew seemed completely aware of what they were doing and just didn’t care. People didn’t seem to trust me and made giant, incorrect assumptions about the relationship between my friend and I,” Baldwin said.

“I’m the one who bought the tickets; she was traveling with me—not the other way around,” she continued. “When my ticket was changed and Janet’s was not, I felt like I was being sent to the back of the bus. I just kept wondering if I was in some sort of time warp and asking myself, ‘Is this what it felt like to be black 60 years ago?’”
http://www.theroot.com/how-american-airlines-forced-black-passenger-to-give-up-1795045431
 

red731

Member
Apr 22, 2011
10,925
2
535
American airlines...


Bruv.
 

Magwik

Banned
Jul 30, 2013
21,725
1
0
Detroit, MI
twitter.com
“When the second flight attendant came through for a cabin check, he saw us (already buckled in, arm rest in between us up) and told my friend that there was plenty of extra space and that we could ‘spread out’ if she wanted to. He did not say this to anyone else,”
Jesus fucking christ
 

notworksafe

Member
Jun 17, 2008
16,513
49
1,085
i've had something similar happen before. had a first class seat in the last first class row, plane needed to be changed and the new plane had one less row of first class seats.

they just booted me to the first section of regular seats and told me they couldn't do anything about it. ended up complaining to the flight crew and to the gate agent when i left the plane and was refunded the difference in fare.
 

Kin5290

Member
Jan 12, 2015
2,230
0
0
If you read the article, American responded to the white friend's complaint over Twitter but apparently hasn't responded to the black passenger.
 

GameAddict411

Member
Aug 4, 2013
5,494
0
0
Another reason in the almost infinitely long list of reason of why American airlines are the worst airlines on this planet. It's almost comical at this point how bad they treat their costumers. While we always try to shit on them, we also have to look at the reasons why this is happening in the first place. American airlines treat their employees worse than other carriers world wide. They pay their pilots the least amount of money as well. People don't tend to stay working in the domestic business in the US after getting some experience. They just move to high profile airlines like Emirates or Singapore airlines where the pay is high and appreciation of the work is also much higher.
 

Apocryphon_

Member
Nov 15, 2006
2,340
388
1,540
What criteria is used by an airline to determine who loses their seat?

Say if on the original plane there were 10 rows of first class seats, then on the plane everybody is moved to there is only 8 rows of first class seats... Does that mean the people who had booked seats in rows 1 - 8 keep their seats and the people in rows 9 and 10 lose them and are moved?
 

Fox318

Member
Dec 2, 2007
64,820
0
1,075
New Jersey
You have to imagine the airline industry wants to kill those cops that beat the shit out of that doctor after they dragged him off the flight.

Since then its been a never ending flood of horrible stories.
 

notworksafe

Member
Jun 17, 2008
16,513
49
1,085
What criteria is used by an airline to determine who loses their seat?

Say if on the original plane there were 10 rows of first class seats, then on the plane everybody is moved to there is only 8 rows of first class seats... Does that mean the people who had booked seats in rows 1 - 8 keep their seats and the people in rows 9 and 10 lose them and are moved?

from first hand experience, yes.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
44,007
7
0
okay look, just because they moved her seat doesn't mean...

“When the second flight attendant came through for a cabin check, he saw us (already buckled in, arm rest in between us up) and told my friend that there was plenty of extra space and that we could ‘spread out’ if she wanted to. He did not say this to anyone else,” Baldwin continued.

hahaha nah, they're racist
 

Massicot

Member
Dec 5, 2016
1,518
1
220
Another reason in the almost infinitely long list of reason of why American airlines are the worst airlines on this planet. It's almost comical at this point how bad they treat their costumers. While we always try to shit on them, we also have to look at the reasons why this is happening in the first place. American airlines treat their employees worse than other carriers world wide. They pay their pilots the least amount of money as well. People don't tend to stay working in the domestic business in the US after getting some experience. They just move to high profile airlines like Emirates or Singapore airlines where the pay is high and appreciation of the work is also much higher.

I feel like every us airline is dogshit these days except maybe Delta and southwest? I really dislike Southwest's seating though.
 

Glix

Member
Jan 28, 2008
10,360
5
955
New York
Waiting for the "LOL you pleebs never fly, how do you not know that in reality you are giving the airline a few hundred dollars for NOTHING except the ability to be let on a plane if they feel like letting you on. LOL you ignorant asses!" Crew to show up
 

captive

Joe Six-Pack: posting for the common man
Feb 14, 2007
20,903
7
0
am i too late to make a minorities are second class citizens joke?


thats pretty fucked up, but par for the course.
 
Jun 13, 2014
7,301
3
460
Another reason in the almost infinitely long list of reason of why American airlines are the worst airlines on this planet. It's almost comical at this point how bad they treat their costumers. While we always try to shit on them, we also have to look at the reasons why this is happening in the first place. American airlines treat their employees worse than other carriers world wide. They pay their pilots the least amount of money as well. People don't tend to stay working in the domestic business in the US after getting some experience. They just move to high profile airlines like Emirates or Singapore airlines where the pay is high and appreciation of the work is also much higher.

Many foreign airlines also have very strict rules on cabin crew looks and weights, generally you'll rarely see stewardesses older than mid 30s and they are told by other crew that its not a lifetime job but something to do for fun before you get married (sister in law was flight attendant for Cathay Pacific for 2 years, she met her husband who was a passenger). Whereas cabin crew on US airlines are union jobs and better routes are assigned via seniority and the average age is much, much higher.

The pay thing is definitely true too though, but it can vary from position to airline.

I don't get the complain about the steward who told them they can "spread out", is that bad? Is it supposed to infer that he thought the white woman wanted to get away from the black woman? I thought it was a nice thing, like he was telling the two woman that nobody else was boarding so if they wanna each take up a row they could (I've done that in the past, if flight isn't full you can sleep solo on a 3 seater row easy). The rest of the stuff, especially moving one person and not the other with no notice or apology or choice or anything, is definitely fucked.
 

family_guy

Member
Mar 17, 2013
9,675
3
610
We've gotten to the point where citizens need to wear body cams. Google Glass needs to make a comeback.
 

commish

Jason Kidd murdered my dog in cold blood!
Aug 3, 2004
26,509
0
0
Jesus fucking christ

Not to defend the airline, but how would she know who the stewardess said this to and who she didn't? Maybe she'd overhear a row or two away, but surely not the whole plane, especially considering how not quite a plane is. I just had a flight where there were a bunch of empty seats and we were told that we could move if we wanted. I don't know if she said this to the people in front of me or behind me.

I'm also not sure how the airline knew one lady was black and the other was white when making the seat assignments.

I'm ready to pounce on these dumb airlines for all the nonsense they do, but I feel like there's something to this story I'm not getting.
 

Massicot

Member
Dec 5, 2016
1,518
1
220
I don't get the complain about the steward who told them they can "spread out", is that bad? Is it supposed to infer that he thought the white woman wanted to get away from the black woman?.

Yes considering she didn't offer that to anyone else, only to the white woman sitting next to the black woman
 

Fenderputty

Banned
Apr 14, 2008
23,126
0
0
Cali
It's amazing to me how these other airlines are failing to cash in on United's blunder. This makes another airline I won't use. O well .
 

Kurdel

Banned
Apr 10, 2010
11,485
0
0
Quebec
It's amazing to me how these other airlines are failing to cash in on United's blunder. This makes another airline I won't use. O well .

23,000 commercial flights per day, shit like this is bound to happen to matter what corporate changes corporate decides to implement.

The current seating system is fucked.
 

Apocryphon_

Member
Nov 15, 2006
2,340
388
1,540
Not sure this is discrimination. I can see how it could be interpreted that way, but it sounds like plain old shitty airline service to me based on the events laid out in the tweets.
 
Sep 12, 2013
5,442
0
0
If you read the article, American responded to the white friend's complaint over Twitter but apparently hasn't responded to the black passenger.

Holy shit...it's almost like we are living in an alternate timeline dystopian future where we are culturally reverting to the 1950s.

Oh wait, we are...
 

mas8705

Member
Dec 11, 2014
1,815
0
0
Have we covered all the airlines at this point? I mean, the worst that Southwest had recently was a skirmish between passengers, and that (if I recall that correctly) didn't involve any of the actual fight attendees.

I really think that at this point, there really does need to be air marshals or something on these flights because for all of these to happen in such a short timeframe is becoming ridiculous.
 

TetraGenesis

Member
Jun 22, 2013
6,972
1
0
i've had something similar happen before. had a first class seat in the last first class row, plane needed to be changed and the new plane had one less row of first class seats.

they just booted me to the first section of regular seats and told me they couldn't do anything about it. ended up complaining to the flight crew and to the gate agent when i left the plane and was refunded the difference in fare.

Insane that you have to complain in order to get a fucking refund for a service you paid for but didn't receive. It should JUST. FUCKING. HAPPEN.