Southwest Airlines Sued for Discrimination Over Free Flights Program for Hispanic Students

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 22, 2024 17:30 PMNews
Share:
Southwest Airlines passenger plane on airport under gray cloudy sky
Southwest Airlines passenger plane on airport under gray cloudy sky. Source: unsplash

On May 21, 2024, the American Alliance for Equal Rights filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, alleging that the airline's ¡Lánzate! Travel Award Program for low-income Hispanic students violates federal civil rights laws. The program offers free round-trip flights to Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students who may not be able to afford air travel on their own.

The lawsuit is backed by Edward Blum, a prominent anti-affirmative action advocate. Blum's group claims that the program discriminates by excluding non-Hispanic students from applying. They are seeking a federal court injunction in Dallas to stop the airline from using race as an eligibility criterion for the program.

Established in 2004, the ¡Lánzate! Travel Award Program has provided free round-trip tickets to over 1,500 Hispanic students attending academic institutions at least 200 miles from their homes. The program is a collaboration between Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The HACU, a non-profit organization, received over $400 million in federal funding in 2023.

Blum's lawsuit contends that the program should be open to all students regardless of their race or ethnic background. Southwest Airlines has stated it is reviewing the lawsuit, while HACU has not commented.

Blum's organization has a history of challenging educational and corporate diversity programs, having previously targeted race-conscious admissions policies at American universities. The current lawsuit represents Blum's first attempt to challenge the philanthropic practices of a major company.

Top Articles
Secrets of airplane speed

Commercial and private jet speeds: from Boeing to Gulfstream

Jun 17, 2024 08:39 AM
Luxury hotels in France for the perfect vacation

Top 20 delightful luxury hotels in France

Jun 16, 2024 10:01 AM

Top 10 benefits of traveling: how traveling to other cities and countries makes us healthier and happier and why you should pack your bags now

Jun 15, 2024 09:05 AM

Where to stay in Seville: Top 10 hotels for every traveler

Jun 14, 2024 09:17 AM
More News
Delta Airlines plane taking off

Passenger Caught In Detroit After Sneaking Over 30 Pounds of Cocaine on Last-Minute Delta Air Lines Flight from Los Angeles

Jun 17, 2024 21:00 PM
Evening view of Norwich cityscape with illuminated buildings and streets

Upcoming Service Changes for Norwich Public Transport

Jun 17, 2024 20:30 PM

American Airlines Airbus A321 Maintenance Issue Causes 22-Hour Delay from Dallas/Fort Worth to Las Vegas

Jun 17, 2024 20:00 PM

Latin American and Caribbean Air Market Sees Significant Growth in April 2024

Jun 17, 2024 19:33 PM
Virgin Australia 737-800 landing at Runway

Virgin Australia Boeing 737 Diverted Due to Engine Fire

Jun 17, 2024 19:00 PM
City street in Glasgow with buses and historic buildings

First Bus Launches New Service to M&D’s Theme Park

Jun 17, 2024 18:30 PM
scenery of white airplane landed on Hong Kong airport

Why Hong Kong Airport Remains An Integral Aviation Hub

Jun 17, 2024 18:00 PM
GOL Airlines airplane taking off from the runway

GOL Launches Direct Flights to Aruba from Brazil

Jun 17, 2024 17:32 PM
American Airlines passenger airliners

Duct-Taped American Airlines Passenger Faces Record Fine

Jun 17, 2024 17:00 PM

Stagecoach Introduces Cashless Travel with MegaRider

Jun 17, 2024 16:30 PM

United Airlines Boeing 777 Passengers Panic After Oxygen Mask Announcement

Jun 17, 2024 16:00 PM
Rainy street scene in China with people holding umbrellas in front of traditional shops decorated with red lanterns

China Extends Visa-Free Entry for Europeans and Malaysians, Boosting Tourism

Jun 17, 2024 15:35 PM
a-large-jetliner-taking-off-from-an-airport-runway

Woman Detained After Bringing Sugar Glider Possum On China Eastern Flight

Jun 17, 2024 15:00 PM
A steam train crossing an old viaduct in a lush green valley

Major Disruptions on Chingford Line for Summer Travelers

Jun 17, 2024 14:30 PM
Airplane at airport during sunset

New Direct Route to Denmark Launched from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

Jun 17, 2024 14:02 PM

Sentosa Island Closes Beaches Following Oil Spill From Nearby Port Collision

Jun 17, 2024 13:32 PM

Dr. Oz Rescues Passenger on JetBlue Flight to Mexico

Jun 17, 2024 12:34 PM
Pride Parade members on the Street

Top LGBT-Friendly Destinations for Memorable Holidays

Jun 17, 2024 11:30 AM
Glasses of red berry drinks on a tray

Inflight Alcohol Ban Debate Revived by New Health Study

Jun 17, 2024 10:32 AM
Two women reading in the park

Discover Paris’s Most Beautiful Green Spaces

Jun 17, 2024 09:30 AM
Passengers seated in an airplane cabin

United Airlines Flight Attendant Blocks Passengers from Switching to Empty Seats

Jun 17, 2024 08:30 AM
Surfer at the point break off of Lombok island in Indonesia

Lombok: An Affordable Paradise Without the Crowds

Jun 17, 2024 07:30 AM

FAA Aims for Zero Runway Close Calls During Busy Summer Travel Season

Jun 17, 2024 06:30 AM

A Day Trip to Handa Island: Scotland's Seabird Sanctuary

Jun 17, 2024 05:30 AM
Human and robotic hands touching

HBX Group to Revolutionize Customer Service with AI Technology

Jun 17, 2024 04:30 AM
A pink and blue Wizz Air jet airliner in the sky

Wizz Air Tops List for Flight Delays Again

Jun 17, 2024 03:30 AM