American Airlines’ special website ‘celebrating black travel’

A screenshot of American Airlines' website "celebrate black travel."

A screenshot of American Airlines’ website “celebrating black travel and community.”

Just in case booking airline tickets has made anyone feel marginalized, American Airlines is there for you.

In July, the airline launched a website “celebrating black travel and community.”

Yes, apparently black travelers need a separate website, according to American Airlines.

“Customers will learn about American’s commitment to support different communities in which the company does business, whether it’s through unique products and services or extensive partnerships with key national African-American advocacy organizations,” a press release states.

These unique products and services include booking a flight, loyalty programs, and a vacation package program. Wait…aren’t these the same American Airlines services everyone else uses?

It’s unclear why this website exists, other than to have photos of smiling black families and a black businessman. The website talks about the African wines served on planes and the organizations the airline supports. It also features videos of “cultural destinations:” Rio de Janeiro; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Are these destinations more appealing to African-Americans? Are no other destinations “cultural?”

It’s a baffling website on the part of American Airlines. The company seems to bend over backward to cater to “diversity,” even though black people are most likely using the same services as the rest of travelers. They buy tickets and use loyalty programs. Why would anyone need a separate website for that?

American Airlines would have more reason to go for a different ethnic or racial group than black people. An American Airlines website in Spanish, which the airline has, makes sense for obvious reasons. A website catering to those from Asian countries — perhaps one for India or China, both burgeoning nations — would also be reasonable.

But one for African-Americans? It seems like blind grasping for customers so American Airlines can say at board meetings that its travelers are diverse.

American Airlines also has an LGBT website. Let’s save that topic for another day.


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