There’s a story getting quite a bit of media attention from American Airlines’ Facebook page.
On Tuesday an American Airlines passenger posted a picture of a flight attendant wearing a “Black Lives Matter” pin.
I most definitely disagree with the person on Facebook calling this pin “disgraceful,” but objectively I think it’s fair to say that very reasonable people can strongly disagree about the effect of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Some view it as a positive driver of change, while others view it as something which has enabled high level violence, even if unintentionally. I don’t think either side is wrong.
I’m not sure if this is accurate anymore, but one Twitter user posted the following screenshot of what is (or at least used to be) American’s policy on pins:
Now, that policy seems very open ended, and under those guidelines the flight attendant should be allowed to wear the pin, given that flight attendants can wear “personal pins of the employee’s choice.” However, perhaps what he was wearing qualifies as a “button,” which is not permitted. However, that seems like a rather odd technicality.
Personally I think that’s far too lenient and sort of an unprofessional policy. Heck, to take this to an extreme, it seems like a KKK pin would be okay. I’m not sure if the above is still the policy, though.
So, why is this situation getting media attention? Because of how American responded to it. Here’s how they quickly responded to this post:
We appreciate your concerns and have alerted our flight attendant management team who will investigate and ensure all uniform standards are followed. In accordance with our community guidelines, we’ve hidden your posts since it includes a photo of an employee. Thanks for your understanding.
To me that seems like the perfect response. They’re saying that uniform standards are to be followed and are investigating whether that was the case, and they hid the post since it included the photo of one of their employees without their consent.
Not surprisingly, this has started a debate on American’s Facebook page. On the two ends of the spectrum people are saying:
- “YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT and I’ll continue to purchase all flights from you, and only you, but ONLY if you stand in complete solidarity with your associate and keep him as a valued member of your team.”
- “I will never fly American again if they allow their employees to support HATE groups in uniform.”
If you ask me, I think American handled the situation perfectly, and the response they’re getting is a bit uncalled for. They acknowledged the situation and said they’d investigate it (which is fair).
As far as American’s pin policy goes, I hope the policy is in fact stricter than just allowing flight attendants to wear “personal pins of the employee’s choice.” Or perhaps the more important question is how they define a pin vs. a button.
Whether or not permissible pins should include “Black Lives Matter” or not, well, then I’m not sure of. I of course 100% support the idea behind the movement and the equal treatment of all, but at the same time I think very reasonable people can disagree about the impact the organization has had.
Should airline employees be allowed to wear “Black Lives Matter” pins? Do you think American handled this situation correctly?