Kyleema Norman shared a story on Twitter accusing American Airlines of discriminating against her for her tone of voice after she voiced a complaint to the gate agent. After police were called, she was banned from the flight and later offered a $125 voucher for her troubles.
Kyleema Norman had intended to travel to Grenada earlier this month, but a troubling experience at New York’s LaGuardia Airport left a bitter taste in her mouth. According to several tweets from Ms. Norman, the issue started with a 3-hour flight delay.
Norman appears to have spoken up about the issue, expressing her frustration to the gate agent in addition to Twitter. The New York resident and member of the Department of Education was traveling to Grenada with her daughter as part of a college graduation trip when their American Airlines flight was delayed.
According to the New York Post, Norman used her “teacher’s voice” to share her frustrations with the airline and the gate agent was having none of it. The gate agent banned Ms. Norman from the flight and contacted the local Port Authority Police officers.
Norman then tweeted several more updates about her experience and her subsequent interactions with American Airlines staff over the next few days.
She later tweeted a video, presumably from someone in the crowd, that shows a portion of her interaction with Port Authority police officers while a crowd is gathered around.
The tweets continue as she later shared that American Airlines was offering her a $125 voucher for her troubles.
As Norman recounted the situation to the New York Post she said, “We’re not trying to start a riot. I didn’t curse him, threaten him, show bodily harm or make a scene.” She also said that she was told, “Your tone at 35,000 feet — I don’t think I’d be able to trust you’d be safe in the air with a pilot and other people.”
It’s the last bit that really set Norman off and she is claiming it’s evidence of racism being alive and well.
Norman’s fellow educators jumped to her defense offering statements of support via social media platforms.
American Airlines, for their part, issued this statement, “We take all claims of discrimination seriously and have opened an internal investigation into the issue. Our Customer Relations team is actively engaged with Ms. Norman to learn more and to apologize for her family’s recent travel experience.”