Woman demands apology from American after she was charged ‘African American’ fee
Passenger receives ‘African American Service Charge’ on flight.
A woman has accused American Airlines of racial bias after discovering a payment labelled as “African American, African service charge” on her bank statement.
Kyetra Bryant found the unusual fee after flying from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, on Thanksgiving last year.
She claims her boyfriend received the same charge after they used separate debit cards to pay for their luggage fees.
In a social media post, Bryant explained: “Over Thanksgiving Wes and I travelled to Denver from the Charlotte International Airport via American Airlines…We both used different cards to pay for our luggage and instead of it being noted as such, both of our bank statements read African American, African service charge.”
What is an African American African service charge??!?!? pic.twitter.com/UmR0sBGLPT
— A Simp Named Slickback (@___seeryandavis) January 29, 2021
“The manager at the airport gave some sob story about how sorry she was but I got no answers. I was told that all I could do was file a complaint. I got called by one person and then it was sent to IT to be ‘investigated’ but still no one has an answer as to why it was listed that way.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect a response but I’m not stupid and no I don’t think it was a mistake. There’s really no justification. We definitely felt targeted. That’s an instance of racial bias.”
However, American Airlines has shifted the blame to the credit card company that handled the baggage fee transaction saying that the name given to a payment is generated on their end.
In an email to McClatchy News, a Mastercard spokesperson said: “We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation, however it is our understanding that American Airlines is not responsible for this error. American Airlines submitted the transaction correctly for a checked baggage purchase — including the proper merchant name. Our bank issuing and payment processing partners are working to understand how the error occurred so this does not happen again.”
Capital One, which issued the Mastercard to Bryant, admitted its investigation found that the mistake was a “technical issue” deriving from the “miscoding of a merchant’s name.”