Did Two Black Men Face Discrimination From U.S. Airways?

Miles and MacCraig Warren say they were told to change their “hoodies and jeans” before boarding first-class.

Posted: 04/15/2013 09:21 AM EDT

Two African-American men are suing U.S. Airways for racial discrimination.

Brothers Miles and MacCraig Warren say they were told to change their “hoodies and jeans” attire before boarding first-class – which they did – only to find a Caucasian and Filipino man in first-class wearing jeans and hoodies.

The Warrens questioned the two men, who said they weren't told to change their clothes at any point while in first-class.

The brothers were stopped at a gate as they were boarding a flight from Denver to Los Angeles last August after a family member’s funeral. An employee told Miles to remove his cap and MacCraig to change to slacks, a button-up shirt and shoes.

“They were told that this was the policy if you wanted to ride in first class,” lawyer Rodney Diggs told the New York Daily News.

“They were very upset when they saw the other two gentlemen sitting right across from them,” Diggs said. “This is definitely racial discrimination and a violation of their civil rights.”

The brothers were flying first-class using a “buddy pass” they were given by a family friend who works for U.S. Airways. The airline has a dress code policy for passengers flying with reduced-fair tickets, which would not make its request to the Warrens illegal.

But the Warrens say they were not made aware of the policy, which left them confused upon seeing other passengers in casual attire.

The Daily News reports:

Todd Lehmacher, a spokesperson for U.S. Airways, told the New York Daily News that the company is currently reviewing the complaint.

“We welcome customers of all ethnicities and backgrounds and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We take these allegations seriously,” Lehmacher said in a statement.

....

“Employees are aware of the travel policy and required to understand the expectations when utilizing their pass privileges,” Lehmacher said.

Diggs said his clients were never informed that different policies applied to reduced fare and regular fare passengers.

“If this is a policy, it has to be practiced at all times and not just selectively implemented when they want it to be implemented,” said Diggs.

Read full story here.

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(Photo: Today Show via NBC)

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