A black woman by the name of Rane Baldwin is coming forward with allegations that during her flight with American Airlines, she was removed from her seat in first-class and placed in the back of the plane.
Baldwin is accusing the airline of racial discrimination after an encounter on a flight from Kentucky to North Carolina while traveling with her freind, Janet Novack, a white woman.
Baldwin, who purchased both plane tickets had also upgraded them to first-class, however when she presented her ticket to the agent at boarding, she was given another one in return–a ticket for a seat all the way at the back of the plane.
According to Baldwin, the agent said nothing of the change until she questioned him with his response being that a plane change left fewer first-class seats available.
She also states that when she attempted to tell her flight attendant, she was ignored. However when Novack decided to leave her first-class seat to sit with her friend, flight attendant’s offered her a 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 told The Root. “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,” she continued.
@janetnovack_ We don't tolerate discrimination of any kind. Please share details and your record locator. We want to look into this quickly.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) May 2, 2017
Baldwin says that she has since filed a formal complaint against flight 5389, and has not yet received a response.
American Airlines now joins the ranks of major airlines who have had to deal with public outcry over their employees’ discriminatory behavior against people of color this year.