Wale, a rapper and record producer, stated two members of an American Airlines crew told him “he didn’t belong in first class” and, allegedly, threatened to call the police.
Wale explained that he was traveling from New York to Los Angeles, when his flight was canceled. Upon boarding a new flight, two flight attendants, allegedly, made it clear that they didn’t believe the D.C.-based rapper was supposed to be seated in first class.
The Nigerian-American recording artist, whose given name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, tagged American Airlines on Twitter while writing about a flight delay and that particular incident.
As Wale voiced his frustrations about flight delays and cancellations on Twitter, American Airlines did respond back initially stating: “We know you’re ready to be in the air and we’re so sorry for the wait. Looks like aircraft maintenance. We’ll have you in the air soon.”
But when Wale held the airline to task on racial profiling, there was radio silence on Twitter. He even posted the ticket in a screenshot and it was indeed a first class ticket in his name.
Although American Airlines didn’t respond on Twitter, they did issue a statement.
It read: “Discrimination has no place at American Airlines. From the team members we hire to the customers we serve, inclusion and diversity is a way of life at American. Every day, our team members work to make American a place where people of all generations, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.
“We are concerned about the comments from Mr. Akintimehin, and our team is reaching out to him to gather more information about what occurred that night.”
This isn’t the first time American Airlines has come under fire for being racist. The NAACP warned Black Americans from traveling on the airline after 4 distinct racist offenses happened last year.