US Airways Gets Slapped with Federal Racism Lawsuit

US Airways

A federal lawsuit filed last Wednesday asserts that US Airways staff repeatedly and unjustly told Miles and MacCraig Warren to change their clothes due to a supposed business casual "dress code" when they tried to board their first class flight last August. After changing out of jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie, they rushed back to avoid missing their flight—only to see two other first class passengers, one white and one Filipino, wearing exactly what they had been told was unacceptable.

The lawsuit filed declares the incident was racial discrimination and seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations and emotional distress. The men described the experience as shocking, confusing and humiliating. In a recent interview their attorney weighed in stating, "It's just racial discrimination, that's just it."

This is not the first time US Airways has singled out Black passengers for unjust treatment. Two years ago, college football player DeShon Marman was forced off a plane in shackles and jailed after a flight attendant and captain aggressively questioned him for wearing saggy pajama pants. Marman's family and a number of organizations rallied around his case and charged the airlines with racial profiling. Nearly 40,000 ColorOfChange members demanded the airline issue an apology and take proactive steps towards preventing racial criminalization and subjective barring of services. The charges were later dropped and the Marman family decided to sue the airline.

In response to the Warren suit, US Airways spokesperson Andrew Christie, who initially defended the airline, has issued a statement on the company's supposed commitment to diversity and intention to pursue the allegations seriously. They also allege the passengers were made to change because of a dress code that applies only to "buddy passes," standby tickets given to employees that can be passed to friends and family.


Racial discrimination is common across the U.S. and ColorOfChange is dedicated to monitoring this lawsuit and other cases like it. Have you ever had a problem while flying? Let us know in the comment section below.

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