Woman Whose Tweets Precipitated NAACP Travel Warning Against American Reportedly Behaved Very Badly

Tamika Mallory, the womens march co-founder kicked off an American Airlines flight enroute to Al Sharpton’s daughter’s wedding, and which precipitated the NAACP ‘travel warning’ against American turns out to have been “screaming f-bombs…in front of kids” on the flight.

American is thanking the NAACP for interest helping them become better because there’s no win in disputing the facts (some claims the NAACP made in justifying the warning are flat out false).

There is unquestionably unconscious bias at airlines, as at any company. With over 100,000 employees some will act differently towards a customer based on race despite the best efforts and intentions of management.

And “flying while Muslim” is definitely a thing in air travel it’s a shame that’s getting short-shrift in this discussion.

American is no worse than other airlines though, but appears to have been singled out largely because of the influence of Ms. Mallory. So it seems important to know that,

Another passenger has come forward about their experience on the American Airlines flight that Mallory was kicked off of, telling the activist, “I was on this flight with you, you were screaming f-bombs at the staff in front of kids. Everyone cheered when you left.”

…[The] passengers on the first row to the left had a toddler that they were trying to shield from the language and threats Ms.Mallory was shouting at the crew,” the passenger told Heavy in a private message.

A second passenger contacted Heavy on October 25 to verify this version of events.

…”Tamika was rude before she boarded the plane, and was loudly yelling at the stewardess, who was clearly distraught and nearly in tears. The pilot was simply protecting his colleague.”

While American is smart not to focus on the specifics — like the NAACP claiming they downgraded a paid first class passenger because of their race when that passenger had purchased a coach ticket, received an operational upgrade, but was returned to coach when their flight was cancelled and they were put on a new itinerary — I hope American doesn’t make donations to various organizations as part of ‘showing good faith’ and getting the travel warning rescinded. Because that’s a shake down.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Of course it’s a shake down. And of course AA will pay. And this is exactly why treating these nonsense accusations with any kind of respect is clearly a problem.

  2. Gary is just letting us know about the latest premium travel card. The race card, which evidently comes with free NAACP travel warning insurance whenever you feel like acting like a turd.

  3. Gary, you are stooping so low here. Maybe mention Al Sharpton a few more times to get white readers in the proper frame of mind to add to the comments. The woman did not get rowdy on the plane until she was notified that she was being kicked off because of an incident at the gate. (The woman is a AA Platinum who got a boarding pass for an aisle preferred seat at the kiosk, but was somehow reassigned to a middle seat at the gate.)

    Racial discrimination at airlines is sometimes conscious and sometimes subconscious. And sometimes what appears to be bias can be benign. Of course even the most racist employee (consciously and subconsciously) ain’t going to announce that “I’m doing this because you are Black.” They always have a pretext.

    No doubt there are times when accusations of racial discrimination are misplaced. It is equally true that there are many many more situations when discriminatory shenanigans go unchallenged because the offenders hide their conscious and subconscious thoughts and motivations. How these actions are perceived often comes down to tone, facial expression and other clues. In other words, one really needs to be there and witness the whole scene.

  4. Still waiting for her to organize a Women’s March down Hollywood Blvd to highlight the despicable actions of Hollywood elites.

  5. Gary’s point is fair. How often do you hear of Asians inmediately playing the race card when things don’t go their way. I’m sure I’ve hard things happen to me negatively because of unconscious bias. But that’s not my default reaction to any situation. It does seem like more black people look for reasons to be offended.

  6. Stop and think logically about this. Her alleged swearing AFTER being told she was not being allowed to fly…does not negate the fact that the captain kicked her off after she had boarded and was seated. IF she had been abusive to the gate agent before boarding they would not have let her board to begin with. NOTHING in these new allegations contradicts the facts that she was moved from her aisle seat and the captain decided to kick her off the plane because of a customer service issue.

    Gary, and all the people claiming that black people complain too much, are exhibiting the exact same bias here. They are so quick to disbelieve her account based on her swearing AFTER she was treated badly. Would these same people say a woman claiming to be raped at a club is lying or playing the woman card because she went to the club in a small tight dress?

  7. “American is no worse than other airlines….”
    Where is the evidence to support this unfounded assertion?

  8. I’m glad Gary is still talking about this because, frankly, the mainstream media is afraid to. And pretty much everyone else, too. Most people understand that what’s going on here is that a group of “activists” are using the imprimatur of the (previously) well-respected NAACP to bully (and possibly shake down) American. They can get away with it because everyone — including American — is afraid to stand up to them because they don’t want to be called racists. They feel it’s better to suck up than stand up. And in the short term, they are right. It’s kind of like paying money if your family member is held hostage. Maybe good for you, but it encourages more hostage taking.
    It’s obvious that the NAACP’s warning was issued largely because two NAACP “leaders” felt slighted by AA. But neither of their claims can stand up to even mild scrutiny — and it seems highly probable that their “problems” are largely due to their own bad decisions. In addition to Mallory, the other claim is by William Barber, the head of the North Carolina NAACP. In his incident, he thought some passengers sitting behind him were being too noisy and, instead of telling them to be quieter, he called a flight attendant over to assist. Not surprisingly, the other passengers didn’t like being yelled at by the flight attendant, and made snarky comments which Barber heard and didn’t like. More words were exchanged and the flight attendant had to come back to deal with the situation. At that point, it appears, Barber grabbed the flight attendant’s arm. She didn’t like it, told the captain, and he then kicked Barber off the plane. Was that right? I have no idea. Was it racism that merits a nationwide “advisory” against AA? Of course not.


  9. @Conway Park – “Gary, and all the people claiming that black people complain too much”

    Excuse me?

    Where on earth did you read that from me?

  10. F bombs? Don’t let door hit you on way out, you miserable chip-on-your-shoulder piece of trash.

  11. Clearly your Black readers have never read “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” And, keep writing these articles that involve race, so I can laugh at your readers of color. They are hilarious.

  12. @ Gary – this is a somewhat more balanced piece than your prior ones on the same subject, as you no longer suggest that the entire original press release was demonstrably false (as I pointed out, and as you now highlight, the op up issue seems to be the only factual error).

    You are also now clear that an airline’s staff may indeed indicate systemic bias or racism when dealing with passengers (your Muslim example).

    But you still insist on making a broad claim with no evidence: that “American is no worse than other airlines “.

    You can’t be the judge of that, Gary, no matter how much you want to. You can say that the original press release was inaccurate, that you don’t see patterns where the NAACP (and possibly American) does. But you don’t know whether the claim is true, and the one piece of statistical evidence that you have cited previously shows more total complaints against American. You can dismiss all of this if you want, but you can’t prove the opposite.

    On that basis, I would agree with some of the others. Let it go.

  13. Gary is clearly one of the most knowledgeable people writing about points, miles and the travel industry. His posts are often very helpful. However, the stories he writes about this incident fall way below his normal standards. He owes the NAACP and to the woman involved an apology.

    Repeated references to Al Sharpton are irrelevant and appear intended to evoke negative images and thoughts for people of no color. In one post he claims that the NAACP, an organization with thousands of state and local chapters, is tainted with communism because the Alabama NAACP chapter received some help from the communist party in the 60s civil rights campaigns but did not support communist ideology. While the NAACP has members with many viewpoints, the organization has always supported the form of government promised (but which has yet to be fully delivered) by the US Constitution.

    He also claims that the NAACP has a history of anti semitism based on Jesse Jackson’s numbskull comment about Hymietown. But Jackson was part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and headed Operation PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition not the NAACP. Jackson is Black, so it seems that is sufficient to assume that any statements he makes must also be the position of the NAACP.

    The posts infer that the NAACP’s travel advisory is merely a publicity stunt intended to extort money not a sincere attempt to address a problem that the organization correctly or incorrectly views as a serious matter. Lotta folks here who are predisposed to poo poo the extent and effects of racial discrimination will agree with the inference in these posts.

  14. It’s all coming out now, Tamika.

    You were not the victim of white male aggression, and nobody cared about the color of your skin.

    You did this to yourself, and you got schlonged. Have a cigarette.

  15. @John you are misreading my post. My reference to Jesse Jackson was about his CONDEMNING THE ANTI-SEMITISM COMING FROM NAACP LEADERSHIP and I only noted his own history with it.

    @(Different) John – It’s been trotted out that AA has more discrimination complaints than others, but they’re a larger airline and the numbers aren’t statistically significant. Why can I not comment on the data? And point out the efforts the airline makes at diversity? And the discrimination issues other airlines have? In any case my position on this issue hasn’t changed at all even if you want to read in changes…

  16. @ Gary (from Different John) – I know your position hasn’t changed, you’ve just worded it more carefully so it’s more clearly understood. I give you props for that, and in a sea of race-baiting comments, it is appreciated by most of us.

    And of course you CAN comment on the data, but you’ve dismissed it, along with the entire suggestion that there MAY be a systemic problem. I simply point out (again and again) that just because YOU don’t see a pattern doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And yet you continue to write with 100% authority, that it CAN NOT exist.

    To be clear: the ONLY issue I have with your commentary is: “American is no worse than other airlines”. You don’t know that.

    Perhaps there’s some nuance – that in fact you say it CAN NOT exist based on the information in press release and these stats. But it still doesn’t make it so, and to be honest, I’d be a little less dismissive of an organization whose job it has been for over 100 years to point these things out, starting with those lynchings that no one saw as a pattern, either (and yes, that’s a fact).

  17. @Wilks which you would expect since they are the largest airline. And do the math here considering they transport 500,000 passengers per day.

  18. A reasonably balanced piece and I thank you for the follow-up. If we are going to get “announcements,” we should be able to get the specifics prompting them. And if they turn out to be over-blown, then I guess we can judge for ourselves as to whether these announcements are reasonable.

  19. Ah, there be some bigots and blowhards in the comments section. Gary is helping to set this travel incident news straight. If you don’t want the truth or facts and want to harp on those that dismantle your preferred ideology, then I suggest you slink back to the ignorant place from where you come.

    There is racism at airlines; that’s well established, just as there is racism exhibited in most public arenas. Anywhere there are people interacting in our country, just about,, there are plenty of examples of racism. AA included. Anyone who wants to pretend otherwise is a rightwing moron.

    This woman was misbehaving and using foul language; that’s also well established. It’s now more likely that she was kicked off not for being black but for being a disgruntled, entitled customer. If you can’t accept that, you’re an idiot who ignores the facts and evidence…and you’re no better than the rightwing morons above who refuse to accept that racism is a rampant problem.

    Gary reported on both…which makes him interested in the whole story and apparently an easy target for racists, rightwing morons, and idiots who ignore evidence.

  20. So now you are posting about … hearsay?

    What proof do you have that the passengers that have “come forward” aren’t white supremacists who are making all of this stuff up?

    One of the low points of this blog have been reached. Stop digging yourself in a hole.

  21. So…do you think everyone’s lying? By your logic, we should dismiss multiple counts of discrimination due to volume. It’s ok because there are so many people. Please! That all sounds well and good until it happens to you. That’s like saying, Weinstein, O’reilly, Clinton, etc. harassed a small number of women when you compare it to the large number of women they came in contact with. Your math is flawed.

    Oh and BTW, to everyone reading, there is no such thing as a race “card”. Cards, by their very nature, are hidden on one side. This is done so that other players have no idea what you will play next. There is no way to hide ones race, nor should we. The reality is, a large number of people in this country, not everyone, but more than we all care to admit, hate black people. What’s sad, is when the moderate who doesn’t discriminate tries to find every justification as to why it must not be a matter or race…until its convient for them.

    “Black people get into college because of race, but don’t get kicked off of airplanes because of it.” Yeah…

  22. Gary, I can send you an entire list of black organizations you can degrade if it would make you feel any better. Shall I also send you a list of hispanic civil rights groups or is it just the blacks you want to discredit? I sent this to the naacp leadership as an fyi. They have a right to knw your point of view

  23. Any amount of hysterical behavior on the plane is grounds for removal, whether you are crew, pilot, customer, or comfort animal. The simple fact of the matter is that someone with plans to do something completely devious may employ this type of tactic to achieve a nefarious objective.
    You will only figure this out in hindsight.
    AA should protect their customers and their crew and prosecute this person or risk being accused of fostering a hostile work environment. Employees have rights too.

  24. @Gary, Because Jesse Jackson has nothing to do with the NAACP, his 1984 anti-semitic comment should not even be mentioned when you are condemning the NAACP for alleged anti-semitism. Moreover, the sole incident you cite where the head of the Dallas NAACP made a comment that was anti semitic is in fact proof that the NAACP, an organization with thousands of chapters, has no anti-semitic taint. The NAACP President immediately repudiated the comment and suspended the head of the Dallas chapter. He was forced to resign from the NAACP.

    In the same post, you also say that communism is a black mark on the NAACP. The material you cite falls woefully short of providing support for that absurd statement. For those who don’t know much about the NAACP, it is really a very conservative (many would say too conservative) organization. Communism is antithetical to the rights the organization seeks to advance. The NAACP’s goal is the achievement of equal rights and opportunity and justice under the law and the elimination of discrimination based on race. In other words seeing that we live up to the ideals we claim our country stands for and are guaranteed under the Constitution. That seems to scare people. I feel badly for them.

    Associating the NAACP with communism and anti-semitism is defamatory and an apology should issue.

  25. @Gene No Gene. This certainly should be brought up. This woman made all sorts of nonsensical claims and the NAACP took the bait and attached american airlines. The fact that information has come out showing this woman lied about what she was doing and highlighting that the crew acted reasonable and not out of racism most certainly should be brought up. The woman behaved badly and then tried to claim racism damaging the airline’s reputation.

  26. @Allen:

    Gary does not have to discredit black people.

    Tamika is doing that all by herself.

  27. Sorry did she not use the right tone while being thrown off the plane? What blog is this, The Gate?

  28. @Gary, This is your statement:

    “Like many gatherings of diverse people, the organization has its black marks like communism and anti-semitism (while public anti-semitic remarks have been condemned by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Jackson himself is known for referring to New York as ‘Hymietown’ for its large population of Jews).”

    I saw that interview with Du Bois’s stepson earlier and listened to part of the Du Bois 35 minute talk on socialism. HERE’S THE DEAL: Nothing in that interview or anything else you cited shows that the NAACP ever supported communism or anti semitism, period! Du Bois was one of 60 founders of the NAACP. That doesn’t make his or any of the other’s personal views the same as the organization’s. You’ll need a lot more than that.

    You ignore the fact that the leader of the Dallas NAACP chapter, one of hundreds if not thousands of local chapters, who was not a part of NAACP leadership was immediately censured and forced to resign over his anti-semitic statement. Now you throw in that the NAACP “embraced” Farrakhan, whatever that means, like that is some kind of endorsement of everything he said and did.

    The NAACP has always been committed to realizing the American dream for all citizens under the US Constitution. The many Jews and the many Black businessmen and women who make up the organization would be quite shocked you make such defamatory statements with no real support. You tried to smear the NAACP to make your disagreement with its travel advisory seem less outrageous. Retract the statement.

  29. Going back to the days of Jesse Jackson and his shakedown tactics that made him rich and famous. Great to see the next generation taking up the cause. Ugh!

  30. @Allen — “I sent this to the naacp leadership as an fyi. They have a right to know your point of view.”

    That’s nice of you to report Gary to the NAACP thought-police. I’m sure they will use the same exhaustive fact-finding they used to determine AA was a racist airline to determine that Gary and his blog are racist.

    Thank you for your contributions to improving civil discourse on this difficult subject. Everyone who disagrees with you will now claw back into their hole and hope the politically correct elite don’t out them as closet racists.

  31. Gary censored my comments. Its not so much that he wants a debate as much he wants to make money.

    Gary is no better than trump.

  32. I am sick to death of angry young women of any colour with a misplaced sense of entitlement. No girls, you are not ‘special’ like your momma kept telling you, and your dream of being a princess is evaporating rapidly now you’re pushing 30. You can still continue to be a diva, but everyone is sooo tired of that, and it’s not gonna get you anywhere ultimately, nor get you there on time, as you’ve noticed, if you continue to throw hissy fits!

  33. “Like many gatherings of diverse people, the organization has its black marks like communism and anti-semitism…”

    As opposed to many gatherings of non-diverse people, which by virtue of their non-diversity do not have these or other black marks?

    Whether or not the NAACP’s actions regarding American is justified, I think this statement and related sentiments tar the organization with far to broad a brush, Gary.

    As for the original dispute that sparked this discussion, we just don’t know enough to draw conclusions about who was at fault and to what extent.

  34. @Allen: Does it hurt when you think?

    Do something productive. Learn how to walk upright, for example.

  35. So J.C. and iahphx, you are just another voice trying to degrade perhaps the nation’s foremost civil rights organization. At what age did you two become White Supremists? I’m sure the KKK and Trump agree with your degarding the NAACP. I have a co.umn and will be printing this entire discussion. Nothing wrong with calling bigots out.

  36. @Allen: Awww, Itty Bitty Baby Boy has a co.umn. New flash, Einstein, my comments are meant to degrade YOU, but if, with your IQ south of 5, you think that includes the NAACP then maybe you really should have stayed in Special Ed.

    Stop dragging your knuckles and being a whiny little biatch. Maybe then people will give you a bit of respect.

  37. She was coming from a rap music conference traveling with a rapper. We live in an age when thousands of Indonesian largely-Muslim teenagers are chanting the F word in concert with a visiting American rapper. Anyone here ever listen to the radio?

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