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Two Black Men Sue US Airways For Making Them Change To Fly First-Class

Submitted by on April 13, 2013 – 8:42 am8 Comments

McCraig and Miles Warren (not pictured above, obviously) are suing US Airways for discrimination in federal court after they were allegedly forced to change out of jeans and hoodies before flying first-class. The two men, who are black, claim they then found a white passenger in the same section wearing the same style of clothes they had just been forced to change out of.

A statement from the airline suggests that the two men were employees flying for free, and they were therefore subject to a different dress code.

Alternet reports that the ticket counter employee told the men their “jeans, hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps violated an alleged first-class dress code.” The complaint reads in part:

Doe employee informed plaintiffs that it was US Airways policy that everyone in first class is required to wear slacks, button up shirts and no baseball caps. Doe employee demanded plaintiffs to change from jeans into slacks, a button-up shirt and told plaintiffs to remove their baseball caps.

But while changing, the men encountered another passenger who was white, and was allowed to board the same flight in first class while wearing jeans and a hoodie.

The men’s account of what happened raises uncomfortable issues about the perception of young black men, especially when wearing more casual clothes. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, some commentors blamed his appearance in a hoodie for provoking the suspicions of shooter George Zimmerman.

This is far from the first time US Airways, or any airline, has had a racially tinged flap over dress codes. In 2011, a black football player from UNM was arrested after refusing to pull up his pants and boarding a US Airways flight against the requests of the crew. In the same week, photos began circulating of a white man who was allowed to fly on US Airways while wearing little more than ladies underwear.

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