Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
PASSENGERS CLAIM RACIAL DISCRIMINATION FOLLOWING
9/11ACLU Files Five Suits Against Airlines
Turbulence ahead: Airlines face scrutiny in claims of
he American Civil Liberties Union, based in
New York City, filed five discrimination lawsuits in federal court
in June, accusing four major airlines of unfairly deplaning
passengers because of their ethnicity.
The suits were filed in Baltimore, Md.; Los Angeles; Newark,
N.J.; and San Francisco. While specifics vary, the cases pertain to
reported incidents that occurred following Sept. 11 and involved
passengers of Middle Eastern or Asian descent who had passed
security checks and were allowed to board, only to then be ejected
due to concerns of flight crew members or other passengers.
“The irrational bias of flight crews or fellow passengers gave
rise to these men being considered ‘suspicious’ and unceremoniously
and unapologetically kicked off their flights,” said ACLU staff
attorney Reginald Shuford.
In one instance, plaintiff Edgardo Cureg claims he was removed
from a Dec. 31 Continental Airlines flight to Tampa, Fla., because
another passenger believed he and two others were acting
suspiciously. The captain allegedly refused to take off until the
three men were removed from the plane.
While Cureg reached his destination the next day, he later told
reporters the incident left “a bitter taste that lingers in my soul
to this day.”
Continental would not comment on the suit but insisted that the
airline has “a longstanding policy against discrimination in any
The lawsuits cite similar occurrances on American Airlines,
Northwest Airlines and United Airlines. American and United could
not be reached for a response, and Northwest declined to comment.
These incidents are not isolated aberrations, according to the
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, D.C.
Since October, the ADC claims it has received more than 60
For its part, the Department of Transportation released a report
that shows a three-month decline in complaints relating to race,
religion, national origin or sex.
The ACLU’s Shuford, however, believes more suits will surface.
“We continue to hear from Arab-American organizations that they are
getting complaints,” he said.
• BRUCE MYINT
What Association Executives
The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size
of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey.
Individual membership association
Total staff size:
2 or fewer
3 to 5
6 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 50
51 to 100
More than 100
Total annual budget:
$300,000 or less
$300,001 to $500,000
$500,001 to $750,000
$750,001 to $1 million
$1,000,001 to $2.5 million
$2,500,001 to $5 million
$5,000,001 to $10 million
$10,000,001 to $15 million
More than $15 million
American Society of Association Executives
Back to NewslineM&C Home PageCurrent
| Events Calendar
| Incentive News
| Meetings Market
| CVB Links
| Reader Survey
| Hot Dates
| Contact M&C