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American Airlines employees put on leave after Black passengers removed from Phoenix flight

American Airlines sign
Domenico Nicosia/KJZZ
file | staff

American Airlines is putting an unspecified number of employees on leave following an incident in January where several Black passengers were removed from a flight.

The company’s CEO recently responded to the Phoenix incident.

Robert Isom wrote in a staff note that the incident was unacceptable and that the company failed customers.

Three passengers sued the airline last month, saying they were removed from the flight due to racial discrimination. They said they were told a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger’s body odor.

The three, who did not know each other, were among the 8 Black passengers removed. They were allowed back on the plane after about an hour.

Isom said American Airlines would form an advisory group to focus on the experience of Black customers, promote the reporting of discrimination allegations and to improve diversity training.

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