American Airlines Tells Government Not To Transport Separated Children On Their Flights

Filed Under: American

Lately we’re seeing more and more large companies take public stands on social issues. This comes in many forms, from supporting LGBT rights, to standing up against the NRA. In the past things like this were taboo, though it seems like that’s slowly changing. With the current crisis we’re seeing at our borders with children being separated from their parents, it looks like we’re now seeing the first airline take a stand.

American Airlines has asked the federal government to not use their flights for transporting children who have been separated from their families at the border. Here’s American Airlines’ statement regarding their stance:

“The family separation process that has been widely publicized is not at all aligned with the values of American Airlines — we bring families together, not apart. American, like many U.S. airlines, provides travel to the federal government through contracts; however, the government does not disclose information about the nature of the flights it takes or the passengers who are traveling. While we have carried refugees for non-profits and the government, many of whom are being reunited with family or friends, we have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy, but we would be extremely disappointed to learn that is the case.

“We have therefore requested the federal government to immediately refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families due to the current immigration policy. We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”

Update: Now United Airlines has taken a similar stance.

So has Frontier:

  1. Finally! Glad to see AA taking a strong stance. I knew there was a reason I keep flying them 🙂

  2. Gee, I wonder why these airlines didn’t take the same position when the Obama and Bush and Clinton administrations ddi the EXACT SAME thing. Trump Derangement Syndrome is an epidemic!

    There are a couple of easy ways to prevent this situation:

    1) Build a big beautiful wall and keep non-US Citizens out
    2) Immediately return the entire family to the other side of the border.
    3) Congress could pass comprehensive immigration reform. Asking Congress to do their job is probably too much of a stretch

  3. Very good to see. People can of course have good-faith disagreement on political issues. But past a certain point, you have to dispense with the equivocation and realize that its not a difference of politics. its a fundamental difference in core morality.

  4. If only airlines had such “compassion” when it comes to policies to accommodate their fare paying passengers instead of just grandstanding on social justice issues because of the free press painting them as heroes. I wonder how many families and children get left stranded during delays, cancellations and sometimes without their baggage and are told too-bad-so-sad. Here is $10 meal voucher for a $40 hamburger and directed to complex policies that basically say either pay for a hotel yourself or enjoy the concrete floor at DFW.

  5. Good move, I guess, but remember: no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism 🙂

  6. Good – happy to see my airline take this stance. Absolutely reprehensible and indefensible what is happening on our border. The shame of this mess should follow these people for the rest of their careers and the rest of their lives.

  7. They should ban transporting prisoners too because of the Prison Industrial Complex, Mass Incarceration, Amerikkka etc…

  8. If you don’t want to be separated from your kids, don’t break the law in the first place?

  9. “…we have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy…”

    It’s all just spin. Doug Parker will continue to run the airline into the ground.

  10. @NoTime4U being born in a first world country you have no idea how it is to live in a country with problems regarding crime, murder, food, electricity and a simple thing as roof over your head and safety. People are just trying to escape all that and create a better life for them & their family.

    Nothing done can justify taking away children from their parents. Just imagine how you will feel if the same thing is done to your children.

  11. If they book them through CLT on PSA then the children will never be separated from their parents.

    But seriously I support this policy.

  12. @Rukmi,
    Try crossing Mexico illegally with your kids and let me us how you get treated.

    None of the North American, South and Central American countries are as worse as Africa. Should we provide asylum to all the Africans, south and central Americans?

    Per the International Asylum law, one is suppose to request for asylum in the 1st country that they enter.

    Last, one who truly wants to seek asylum should head to the legal port of entry, not sneak into a country illegally.

  13. Just a reminder for those who argue that it’s “against the law” for people to bring their children to the border and request refugee or asylum status.

    It’s NOT. But taking away children from their parents actually IS.

  14. Good choice for AA and UAL. It’s a simple moral issue, no reason to participate as a business or as a human being in something that is quite obviously contradictory to basic human decency.

  15. @Rukmi

    The U.S. isn’t responsible for taking care of the citizems of third world countries. And I find it laughable that anyone would think it is.

    People need to just stay in their own damn countries.

  16. Trump to sign exec order to keep kids with parents…

    But it will mean the kids stay in detention with parents until cases heard and then whole damn family deported

    Maybe then this crap will stop..using kids for sympathy

  17. @rukmi

    Simple solution…come legally

    USA and other western countries cannot possibly accommodate 6 million destitute savages form all 3rd world sh*tholes

  18. Glad to hear it. AA is still incompetently run, but at least it’s not 100% immoral as well.

  19. @No border No Nation

    Either you are ok with kids being torn away from their families and being kept in cages or you aren’t. Pointing to Obama and saying “he did it too” isn’t a stance. Its an excuse and a deflection. Show some spine and show your true color. Is it ok or is it not ok?

  20. @NoTime4U

    Saying its the parents fault isn’t a position; its a deflection. Either you are ok with kids being taken from their parents and housed in cages or you aren’t ok with it. Who is to blame for it is entirely secondary.

  21. Children of USA Citizens are “ripped away” and spirited to HHS/foster care/social worker all the time whenever their parents break the law. Interesting how people aren’t throwing a tantrum about THAT.

  22. I think air carriers are trying too much to respond to social media, as if that is somehow a serious driver of revenue. Yes, there are those customers who will not travel on a carrier based on the carrier’s stand on moral issues. But the vast majority of customers will choose a carrier based on schedule and price. Does the carrier have a flight at a price I’m willing to pay? Yes? Sold!

    People like to take a stand on moral issues, but their actual buying decisions are almost always based on price. The best response an air carrier can make on these hot button topics is to not respond at all.

  23. @Notime4u The problem is, it isn’t just the parents who “broke the law” who are suffering: Their children have been permanently taken from them. This experience likely will literally ruin their lives. I know someone who was separated from his mother at 8 months old, and then moved to live with his uncle (Yay Pakistani divorce laws…). That kid didn’t have half the trauma that these children are experiencing, yet he clearly has permanent psychological damage from that incident.

  24. @Louis is ignorant or lying when he says that nobody is protesting how our criminal justice system constantly splits of family.

    @Louis, if this is something you truly care about, I invite you to join me and people around the country in fighting to end cash bail.

  25. Trump signed the EO stopping the separation of families. Another foolish Obama policy fixed by Trump.

  26. @kenny out here applauding Trump for keeping parents and children together in the same concentration camps

  27. @chub:

    That was a crafty response by Delta, playing both sides of the fence. That’s a gifted PR person.

  28. Everyone saying about how the immigrants / refugees (whatever the popular buzz word is of the moment) can come to this country or that country, open your homes and accept a family. It’s easy enough to talk the talk from a computer keyboard but show how you really care and take that family in and have them live in your house, share your living space and eat your food. I’m darn sure 99% of the time you will be tired of them within a few weeks.

  29. As always, appreciate the name calling. #CLASSY

    The problem partially stems from H.R. 7311 passed back in 2008 and HEAVILY endorsed by Feinstein & Biden.

  30. The governement’s mistake is separating the families, they’re just giving themselves too much trouble. Keep the family united, then deport them together at once.

  31. kenny You need to google “The Homeland Security Act of 2002.”

    What Bush and Obama addressed were children coming to the USA without a parent.

    What the fat Cheeto did was to purposefully wedge apart children from parents. This is Trump, the whole thing, and whenever he shows his true colors it’s inevitably about how aggrieved he is and how he punishes those who offend him. He alone owns this. He alone started it, supported by his supplicants and servants who carry out his orders unquestioningly. What makes this irrefutable is that he alone stopped it. He’s no hero.

    He is an asshole. So are you.

  32. @Rukmi That doesnt excuse them from breaking a host’s rules and laws about the country. If you break rules in your country, you have NO REASON to keep doing that in a foreign nation. Its embarrasing what they do.

  33. Ben L. is salty trotting out that tired leftist drivel, concentration blah blah. He prefers protecting the interests of the human traffickers instead. So what you’re saying Ben is that it is accpetable for the kids be exploited, raped and transported through Guatemala and Mexico (where they must request aslyum – if that’s their claim).

  34. @Lucky Disagreeing with a viewpoint is fine and a wonderful right we have in our awesome country, but the name calling and profanity should be above this site…and

    OT: DHS has fired back making the valid point that exasperating the false media narrative also would prevent separated families from being united. Interesting…

  35. @Gregg “People like to take a stand on moral issues, but their actual buying decisions are almost always based on price. The best response an air carrier can make on these hot button topics is to not respond at all.”

    No. American and United were quite strategic in their statements.

    People’s perceptions and interactions with brands are to a large degree about emotion. IF I am against the policy of separating children from parents (and I am not personally saying I am or I’m not), and I read American’s press release stating unambiguously that they want no part in this program, then I feel better about American. That feeling will reinforce my flying American above other carriers. That feeling will reinforce my taking one extra trip to reach a certain status level. That feeling will reinforce my doing a one-stop across the country vs. a nonstop on another carrier. That feeling will reinforce my spending a little extra to fly “my” airline because they came out on “my” side in something. This is how and why taking a stand on a hot button topic can be very powerful indeed.

    American and United came out in front of this by going on the record with their disapproval before the president was forced to halt the program. From a BCOM 101 standpoint, they were shrewd to do so. Delta never did so, but came out after the fact to praise the president after the program was halted. And good for Delta for doing so, but the messages from American and United are very clearly different from that of Delta.

    All this to say that corporate communications can be tricky business, but if the polls are correct in terms of the mood of the country, American and United pleased far more people than they upset, irrespective of the comments section on this blog post. And that’s good for American’s and United’s bottom lines.

    If only United would clean the interiors of their aircraft, but that’s my my own personal problem.

  36. Lucky: From an above comment from @keepingitreal

    “He is an asshole. So are you.”

    I’m a strong proponent of free speech and have no issue with @KIR’s right of expression. That ends with the personal assault of another commenter for expressing their opinion. Please keep your blog “this” side of the line. @KIR crossed it with that last comment.

  37. Here’s a good one. DH works in an ER. Complimented a patient on how youthful they looked for their age. Patient laughed and said “oh yea, we lied about our age when we arrived in this country (by 10 years) so we can get our ss benefits sooner”. True story.

    Wake up people, the motto is Get to American they’re a bunch of patsies who will give you everything for nothing. 🙁

  38. @No border No Nation

    This is the 21st Century. Why do you want to waste 25 billion dollars on 16th century technology.
    A wall is not the answer, Mexico has been smuggling drugs into the U.S. via underground tunnels for years. These people that want a wall should just make sure Mexico pays for it as promised by Trump.

  39. To the ignorant Fox News viewers, the law has been there but Bush and Obama chose not to enforce it to not separate kids from their parents. They chose to process them through administrative processing instead of criminal. All Trump has to do is stop processing them criminally and he will not have to separate kids. But we don’t expect you to know that because for that you need the ability to think rationally

    @George and @David – If you think America or Europe are not responsible for taking people from 3rd world “sh*tholes” the you are wrong. No one invited europeans to America or Africa or Asia. You couldn’t stay in your own countries so conquered the world, f$%ked it up and now you are complaining about others coming to your countries illegally. History repeats itself, and this is now payback time for the 3rd world “sh*tholes” that you morons created from 17th to 20th century.

  40. Blackhill – I have no desire to allow all of Latin America to claim asylum in the US, and would most likely deny a huge proportion of the people currently claiming it. That is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MATTER to whether you can kidnap and imprison their children. I don’t overly care about the parents – they brought it on themselves – it’s the children I worry about.

    A disturbing number of Americans respond to global condemnation with “f*ck them all – I know I’m right”, instead of questioning why it’s them vs the world…

  41. In all this the fools are the people like me who came here legally. Paid thousands of dollars over the years for visas and finger printing fees etc and are still in line to get a green card.

    Should have come like the Mexicans do. Would have had more rights and more money in my pocket.

  42. @Callum

    Thank you for responding to my comments with your views.

    Let me be very clearly. I do not like separating kids from the parents for the sake of separating but when there is an illegal activity, government has every right to put the person behind bars. Since the kids did not have other family members whom they can verify they placed them under care.

  43. @olegunner,

    Problem is right there in your own comments. Presidents are suppose to uphold the laws of the nation, not cherry pick on which ones to enforce or not. You have problem with a law, change it. That’s why we have lawmakers.

    By your logic, there may come a time when a rogue President who may say let’s ignore all laws that does not fit their agenda. Is that what you are wishing for?

    This problem is easily fixable but both Democrats and Republicans are refusing to cooperate simply for the sake of making every issue a politics and thus gaining votes to keep their power hunger forever.

    We need lawmakers who really wants to do public service for the nation without worrying about getting re-elected, one who has betterment of nation in the mind and not clinging to the power.

  44. The ignorance displayed by most on this blog is disturbing! Seems as most of you are watching too much CNN at the airports and picking up a sound bite and running with it! Obama did the same thing and as a matter of fact, most of the photos were during the Obama administration. The media protected him and now with the Anti Trump resistance are doing everything (in addition to the Democratic Party), including lying, to paint him in a less than favorable light. These kids are political pawns, nothing else to those who claim to care!

    There is a reason to separate children from “families”. Many of these so called families are human traffickers and bring these kids in for this very reason. To hear Trump and his actions compared to Nazi Germany is offensive to those who survived and displays ignorance of many and that the media bias and lies are working. Frightening! Concerns me for the future of this country when people can be so wholly ignorant!

    I am very disappointed in the airlines and will be writing to at least one that I thought I liked, to express my displeasure. They may not realize, this can work both ways. People who do not agree with their lock step mentality can choose other airlines and impact their bottom line!

  45. Maybe federal government should deny those people entering US to keep them in Mexico. Then we do not need to argue and curse each other.

    Most of them are not Mexicans.
    Why they across a lot of countries and claim something happened to them in their own country and going to the nearby country cannot solve the problem?
    They passed by so many countries, none of these countries can they stay?
    Maybe Mexico is better for them since they speak the same language.

  46. @david, but the US does accommodate millions of destitute savages in a 3rd world sh*thole – it’s just otherwise called suburban America.

  47. Guys… that wont stop the government, they will just hire a private jet and we tax payers will have to pay for it. Nobody will win.

  48. @Blackhill – No need to thank me, I only responded because I think you’re a scumbag. And now so does Trump, who has labelled the practice as wrong.

    When Trump thinks your views are immoral you have SERIOUS issues! (Don’t worry, we all know he probably relishes the site of foreign child suffering so is most likely just pretending to care to save face)

  49. Glad Trump has stopped the policy, but shocking to read these comments.
    Yes, these people are in the country illegally, but it is not a felony, not even a misdemeanor, it’s a civil violation, the equivalent of a parking ticket! It results in deportation, not punishment (if you don’t believe it, Google SCOTUS AZ vs US)!
    So, unless you are ok with your kids being taken away from you and stuck in a cage after your next parking ticket, you should really ask yourself why you are supporting this…

  50. Jesus said, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” He was referring to the Roman law at the time which required anyone to carry government equipment or supplies for one mile if requested by a Roman official — “one mile at a time” as it were.

  51. Wow look at the US Airlines suddenly caring about human rights, after all what they do on the seats and customer service. To all the moral high grounders here you need to realize that none of these illegals have a right to be here, and should be sent home and never come come back unless they want to face worse consequences. If these people are “fleeing” they need to go to the first country they land in, not come to the USA to suck off our Welfare and drive down wages.
    The airlines need to understand that they need to shut up on politics. I fly AA to go to Madrid-Barajas or Tokyo-Narita, not to hear them virtue signal on foreign criminals


    YOUU ALL NEEEEEED TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR ENGLISHG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  53. AA & UA Executive Management are wusses !! Too bad, so sad…. How many $$ millions $$ did you guys rip the gov’t & taxpayers for with your inflated prices for gov’t tickets ?? And now you whine ?? Bunch of wusses….

  54. “Obama did the same thing……..”



  55. Where is the compassion for the Steinle family, who were “separated” from their daughter Kate permanently by an illegal alien who had been deported 5 times, and who purposely came back to SF because he knew it is a “sanctuary” city ? They will never see Kate again, and they are wonderful people who broke no law.

    The non-political Rasmussen Poll out today asked likely voters who is most responsible for these children being separated from their parents, the parents or the Federal Government? 51 to 37 the answer was of course the parents. Don’t bring your children on a harrowing, exceedingly dangerous journey, then illegally take them over a border, and you won’t have this problem.

    Sadly Lucky is up to his political grandstanding again, equating “standing up against the NRA” (sic) to supporting human rights. The NRA teaches safe gun handling classes, supports every American’s constitutional right to have a gun to defend themselves and their families, and no NRA member has ever been involved in a mass shooting. What in the world is there to “stand up against”? How about standing up to the so-called “Anti-Fa” hooligans rioting in the streets? That would be a public good; but to praise “standing up against” law abiding citizens who simply want to protect their Constitutional rights? How does that make any sense?


    Your rhetorical eloquence is astounding. 🙂

  57. The name calling and profanity are offensive and inappropriate as many children read this blog. 🙁

  58. A number of Americans, myself included, are tired of this incessant virtue-signaling from major corporations and/or public figures. I typically find it’s just a distraction to cover up their own unethical behavior. It also tends to show how simple-minded people are if they believe that large for-profit corporations are, often merely by virtue of making these gestures, somehow exemplars of moral/ethical behavior. Give me a break. Companies grandstanding about “social conscience” does not matter to me as much as them giving lower prices and properly doing their jobs. Cut the schoolmarm BS and treat us like adults who are capable of making independent judgments. Because ultimately, their moral principles aren’t mine anyway.

  59. @Louis
    Too bad, most parts of the internet aren’t meant for children in the first place.

    Exactly! these are the same airlines that beat up a passenger before kicking him out of the plane (United), make toilets that are near unusable to anyone (AA 737-MAX), and have the worst possible service (Spirit) and now they care about human rights?

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