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American Airlines Moves Black Passenger to Back of Plane

Black Passenger Claims American Airlines Made Her Give Up Her First-Class Seat

American Airlines is under fire for an alleged incident that two passengers say was blatantly racist. The alleged incident occurred on May 2, and the passenger states that while she was asked to move, the white friend she was traveling with was not.

The story begins on May 2 on an American Airlines flight from Kentucky to Charlotte, NC. Rane Baldwin, a black woman, used her credit card and American Airlines traveler status to upgrade her seat and her friend's to first class. However, when they scanned their tickets at the gate, Baldwin was given a new one with a seat at the back of the plane. Further, she says her friend, Janet Novack, a white woman, didn't have to change her seat. Novack took to Twitter to explain the situation. She said that while she understood the need to occasionally move passengers, it was how the staff handled the rest of the situation that she didn't like.

Novack explained that whenever Baldwin asked questions, she was ignored by the staff. However, when Novack asked anything, she was answered. She says Baldwin moved up to the front of the main cabin at one point and Novack joined her. But, Novack claims, the staff was confused as to why Novack would leave her first-class seat and told her she didn't "have to" sit next to Baldwin.

Novack says she couldn't believe it, considering she was only sitting in first class thanks to Baldwin.

Baldwin has since complained to the airline for the alleged racist encounter. "I've never felt so unimportant my entire life. This flight was the most blatantly racist thing that's ever happened to me," Baldwin told The Root. Novack, on the other hand, felt like she didn't do enough to defend her friend. "To say that I'm still baffled and at a loss for words is a gross understatement. Primarily, I feel guilt. There are a million things that I wish I could go back in time and do to help the situation and stand up for Rane," Novack said to The Root. Baldwin has yet to hear anything from American Airlines; meanwhile, the airline has responded to Novack's tweets.

We have reached out to American Airlines for comment but had not yet heard back at press time.

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