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American Airlines denies 1st class seat to black passenger

Mimosa97

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Dec 19, 2013
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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.

Not in Europe. If you've ever traveled with Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, British airways etc... you'll know that most of the stewardess are women who are past their 30's. Also in the case of Air France that I've used extensively while growing up, they assign positions according to seniority. The most experience stewardess (usually a woman in her 40's) in in charge of 1st class while the rookies work at the back.
 

BajiBoxer

Banned
Dec 5, 2007
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If you want to say that one person (white) was treated better than another (black) on a plane, sure, I can certainly believe that. But it's hard for me to think that American decided to give the white woman a first class seat over the black woman when they couldn't have known the races of either. I mean, I don't think the women themselves are even claiming this. Subject of this thread is pretty misleading.
I would assume the initial reassignment was automated, but everything else from start to finish sounds like it's full of racial bias. No initial explanation, moved to back of plane, white friend's complaints and comfort being deemed more important.
 

cyberheater

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What a horrible way to treat one of your customers.
 

Syriel

Member
Sep 21, 2009
9,607
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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.

Aside from a plane change, this is the most likely excuse for an unannounced bump from First, esp since airlines cannot confirm an air marshal's status.

If you're in First, in an aisle, and get bumped for no reason by a guy in a crew cut, that's why.

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.

A bump from First to Econ will always generate a refund. Gate agents won't always know what to do, but the billing system will handle it.
 

Pau

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May 3, 2010
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US one's maybe. I've never had nor really heard of issues like this with most major Eurpean airlines.
European airlines can be racist as fuck too. We were almost denied boarding on a flight from Spain to England (Btitish Airways) because the ticket lady thought we were trying to illegally immigrate there. Didn't matter that we had our visa, United States residency papers, etc. We were Latinos who spoke English with a strong accent so we were automatically "illegals".
 

Apocryphon_

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Nov 15, 2006
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European airlines can be racist as fuck too. We were almost denied boarding on a flight from Spain to England (Btitish Airways) because the ticket lady thought we were trying to illegally immigrate there. Didn't matter that we had our visa, United States residency papers, etc. We were Latinos who spoke English with a strong accent so we were automatically "illegals".

Visa for where, the US? Irrelevant and of no use when travelling from Spain to the UK. You haven't really explained what was racist about this incident. Is it because you were specifically targeted for being Latino? You have to imagine that there is a lot of profiling going on at airports and by airline staff. It's probably safe to assume that someone somewhere identified that there is an illegal immigration problem in the UK and that they put together some profiles of the types of people immigrating illegally into the country and asked immigration and airline staff to flag individuals that matched them. Unfortunately profiling does need to be employed in a wide variety of places and unfortunately innocent people end up having to jump through hoops to prove their innocence. Happens all the time, and yeah, sometimes the people charged with carrying out the profiling are racist and use it as an excuse to harass people, but just because you were stopped doesn't mean it was racism.
 

Kevdo

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May 16, 2015
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God this is all so pathetic. How can people still act this way? Have we not grown at all?
 

Kin5290

Member
Jan 12, 2015
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Visa for where, the US? Irrelevant and of no use when travelling from Spain to the UK. You haven't really explained what was racist about this incident. Is it because you were specifically targeted for being Latino? You have to imagine that there is a lot of profiling going on at airports and by airline staff. It's probably safe to assume that someone somewhere identified that there is an illegal immigration problem in the UK and that they put together some profiles of the types of people immigrating illegally into the country and asked immigration and airline staff to flag individuals that matched them. Unfortunately profiling does need to be employed in a wide variety of places and unfortunately innocent people end up having to jump through hoops to prove their innocence. Happens all the time, and yeah, sometimes the people charged with carrying out the profiling are racist and use it as an excuse to harass people, but just because you were stopped doesn't mean it was racism.
Man, you sure are twisting and turning to insist that institutional racism totally isn't racist.
 

MrCarter

Member
Feb 10, 2016
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This is how I imagine American Airlines Crew.

 

Pau

Member
May 3, 2010
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Visa for where, the US? Irrelevant and of no use when travelling from Spain to the UK. You haven't really explained what was racist about this incident. Is it because you were specifically targeted for being Latino? You have to imagine that there is a lot of profiling going on at airports and by airline staff. It's probably safe to assume that someone somewhere identified that there is an illegal immigration problem in the UK and that they put together some profiles of the types of people immigrating illegally into the country and asked immigration and airline staff to flag individuals that matched them. Unfortunately profiling does need to be employed in a wide variety of places and unfortunately innocent people end up having to jump through hoops to prove their innocence. Happens all the time, and yeah, sometimes the people charged with carrying out the profiling are racist and use it as an excuse to harass people, but just because you were stopped doesn't mean it was racism.
A visa for traveling to the UK obviously. Thanks for assuming I'm an idiot though.

The lady also made fun of my parents' English, said things about how "you people always try this" and said our proof of residency in the United States was probably faked. When we spoke to a manager, they told us all our papers were in order and that what she was doing was not protocol.
 

Syriel

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Sep 21, 2009
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A visa for traveling to the UK obviously. Thanks for assuming I'm an idiot though.

The lady also made fun of my parents' English, said things about how "you people always try this" and said our proof of residency in the United States was probably faked. When we spoke to a manager, they told us all our papers were in order and that what she was doing was not protocol.

Considering you don't (well you might in the near future) even need a visa to fly from Spain to the UK, there is no reason for her to have even asked about your immigration status.
 

Pau

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May 3, 2010
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Considering you don't (well you might in the near future) even need a visa to fly from Spain to the UK, there is no reason for her to have even asked about your immigration status.
This was about a decade ago. I know we needed to get a separate visa for the UK because it wasn't covered by the Schengen one.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Nothing surprises me. Is there an U.S. airline that hasn't fucked up yet? Southwest?

I haven't had any major issues with Southwest, apart from the computer systems going down last summer and delaying us by a few hours. They gave me (and everyone else who was affected) 2 round-trip tickets to use any time on any flight which was nice.

I've been using Southwest Airlines because their staff is friendly and the rates have always been the lowest when I've had to fly domestically.

But going back to this issue, why can't the airlines just fucking treat their customers with respect and be goddamn happy? I hate seeing this kind of crap happen.
 

Apocryphon_

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This was about a decade ago. I know we needed to get a separate visa for the UK because it wasn't covered by the Schengen one.

Yeah, I asked because it sounded odd. Unlike in the US, most people are free to travel to the U.K. without a visa. We opted out of the Schengen Area, but the requirement to have a visa to travel to the U.K. from most places has been abolished since the mid 60's.

So you weren't subject to racist policies of an airline, just an individual who worked for an airline who was doing her own thing? Ok.
 

Apocryphon_

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I haven't had any major issues with Southwest, apart from the computer systems going down last summer and delaying us by a few hours. They gave me (and everyone else who was affected) 2 round-trip tickets to use any time on any flight which was nice.

I've been using Southwest Airlines because their staff is friendly and the rates have always been the lowest when I've had to fly domestically.

But going back to this issue, why can't the airlines just fucking treat their customers with respect and be goddamn happy? I hate seeing this kind of crap happen.

Why would they? There's virtually nothing you can do to combat it. You fall in line or you don't fly. Every time there's a major power differential like this it breeds cuntish behaviour.

EDIT: Not sure how credible the site is, but View From the Wing offers a different reading on the story in the OP.

LINK

If that's true, they didn't pay for first class at all and it sounds like a poor communication issue.