American Airlines has extended a formal apology to David Ryan Harris, a Black father who was questioned by police at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after a flight attendant accused him of trafficking his biracial children.
As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the musician took to Instagram to detail his and his children’s experience while flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles on Sept. 15. According to Harris, his 7-year-old son was approached by a flight attendant who attempted to communicate with the child, and when the boy failed to respond, the airline employee made a report.
“A flight attendant had called ahead with some sort of concern that perhaps my mixed children weren’t my children because they were unresponsive during an interaction with her,” he explained.
After being ignored by the company’s customer service, Harris posted an apology from American Airlines to his account on Oct. 3.
“To summarize our investigation….we and our flight attendant realized that our policies regarding suspected human trafficking were not followed, and through coaching and counseling … our flight attendant realizes that their interaction and observations did NOT meet the criteria that human trafficking was taking place,” the reads the statement.
“Our flight attendant in question wanted to make sure that you were aware that they sincerely offer a heartfelt apology to you and your family for their actions and the results that their actions generated.”
In the wake of the ordeal, Harris called out the company’s true intentions and approach to determining minor passengers’ safety.
“I don’t care what you say if this had been a white dad/mom with 2 little Black kids, they would probably been offered an upgrade, not an interrogation,” he said in one of two posts about the incident.
“And if they’re so concerned about child trafficking, shouldn’t the airlines have some protocol in place to stop me from flying with a child I stole long before I’m ON THE PLANE?? You’re telling me that they can stop me from carrying a capri sun through TSA, but they can’t put safeguards in place for actual human beings?”
Source: Black Enterprise