One American Airlines passenger is accusing the company of racism because she says she was denied overnight accommodations after missing her flight due to delays.
In a viral video that has amassed 48,000 likes, user Santana (@santanaknox.author) accused the airline of treating a white family better than it treated her due to racism.
“When you’re a pale skin person of color, sometimes it’s easy to fall into the privilege,” she began in the clip. “Until you end up in some of the most racist parts of the country like Charlotte, North Carolina.”
She explained her airplane sat on the tarmac for an extra 45 minutes, which resulted in her missing her flight. When she approached an airline worker in the airport to ask for accommodations because the missed flight was the last one of the day, she says the person refused to help.
“The airline has the audacity to tell you they don’t owe you anything,” she said. “Not accommodations. Not a can. You’re just stranded.”
@santanaknox.author I was trying to keep it together in this video, but when people break you for no reason other than where you come from, you tend to shatter. #americanairlines #aa #americaneagle #americanairlinessucks #discrimination #faa #trending #viral ♬ original sound – Santana
However, the mom says she recognized things took a racist turn when the airline worker threatened to call the police on her and she noticed another family receive special treatment that she was denied.
“To make matters worse, as soon as I walked away a wonderful white family got their hotel voucher from the same flight,” the TikToker said.
As for her family? The content creator and mom said they did eventually get a voucher. But only after her white husband approached the airline about it.
“I would also like to update: My white husband went alone (has a different (yt) last name Knox is a pen name) and was able to get hotel & flights w/o,” she wrote in the comments section.
Others in the comments section blasted the airline for its treatment of the woman and her family and for its customer service.
“That woman BETTER lose her job!!!!” user Torrey wrote, tagging the airline in the comment.
“I am horrified that you had to deal with that,” user Amanda said. “I hope she is fired.”
However, some took the TikToker to task, questioning her experience and whether or not it was in fact motivated by racism.
“Girl you’re full of shit,” one TikToker wrote. “You were being aggressive so they’re going to be aggressive back. More flies with honey.”
“Honey- this had nothing to do with your skin color,” another said.
According to American Airlines’ customer service plan, the company offers travel and hotel vouchers to passengers whose flights are delayed overnight. In the event that the airline is unable to provide hotel vouchers or assist with travel, it reimburses reasonable costs.
The Daily Dot reached out to both Santana and American Airlines via email.