American Airlines is finding itself in hot water again now that a Boston mother has come forward about an incident that left her booted from a flight in August.
Briana Williams, 24, is speaking out after hearing the news of activist Tamika Mallory’s run-in with the flight operator last weekend.
Williams’s run-in with the airline came after she asked the crew to return her stroller during a flight delay. She was on her way from Atlanta to New York City with her infant daughter to visit friends and family. What was supposed to be a two-hour flight turned into a more than five-hour deferment after weather conditions prevented the flight from taking off.
In the interim, Williams insisted that she be able to have her stroller. Instead, the pilot got angry, called the police to remove her from the aircraft and when everyone else on the plane was redirected to JFK a few hours later, she had to spend the night inside the airport.
In an interview with the NY Daily News, Williams, a Harvard Law student, said, “This type of unregulated discretion is a segue into discriminatory policy,” adding, “The pilot put me in a potentially dangerous situation with law enforcement as a young, black woman, saying that I was a ‘threat.'" Williams went on to explain,"This type of rhetoric paralyzes the African-American community, and I want to ensure that policies are put in place that regulate the pilot’s discretionary abilities.”
For their part in it, the Daily News reported that an American Airlines customer service operator offered Williams 25,000 miles (enough for a round-trip flight) because they agreed that their staff’s “behavior deviated from standard.” Still furious with their actions, Williams declined their offer.
Although Airline spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement that discrimination is never tolerated by the airline, it seems that more and more of their Black customers are coming forward to dispute that claim.