American Airlines CEO States Intention To “Rebuild Trust” After Discrimination Accusations

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday, June 18, Robert Isom, the CEO of American Airlines vowed that he would be rebuilding trust in the airline. This comes after recent accusations by a group of Black passengers who stated that the airline had racially discriminated against them and forced them off a plane due to complaints about body odor. 

Isom sent a letter to employees in which he argued that the incident in which eight passengers were temporarily removed and then allowed back on board was “unacceptable.” Isom he expressed “disappointment in the handling of the situation, which he argued went against the company’s procedures, values, purpose, and identity. He added that in this situation, they had failed their customers. 

According to a recent lawsuit, three Black passengers were deboarded before their flight on Jan. 5 from Phoenix to New York. The three men had not known one another but were seated together. A representative from American Airlines allegedly approached them individually and informed them without providing any explanation that they needed to get off the airplane. 

During the incident, a total of eight Black passengers were allegedly ordered to get off the plane. Some of the men argued that the staff were exhibiting discrimination, and video footage of what happened showed at least one airline representative in agreement.

When asked about the reason for their removal, they were informed that a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified body odor, according to the lawsuit. However, none of the men removed from the plane were reportedly accused of being the source. It’s also reported that there was an hourlong delay before the men were able to reboard.

Isom, according to a letter, has promised to work toward building “diversity and inclusion” at the airline. He also said they are committed to learning from this situation so they can better serve people and “rebuild trust.”

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