American Airlines flight operated by an All-Black Female Crew in Honor of Bessie Coleman

American Airlines hosted the Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars tour to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license in 1921. She bravely broke down barriers within the world of aviation and paved the path for many to follow.

To honor her legacy, American hosted Gigi Coleman, Bessie’s great niece, on a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Phoenix. The flight was operated by an all-Black Female crew — from the pilots and Flight Attendants to the Cargo team members and the aviation maintenance technician.

American is being intentional in its efforts to diversify the flight deck. Black women have been notably underrepresented in the aviation industry, especially as pilots, representing less than 1% in the commercial airline industry. Through the American Airlines Cadet Academy, the airline is committed to expanding awareness of and increasing accessibility to the pilot career within diverse communities.

The historic flight crew

Beth Powell
Pilot, Boeing 737 Captain

Charlene Shortte
Pilot, Boeing 737 First Officer

Cheryl Gaymon
Flight Attendant

Mary Roberson
Flight Attendant

Vanessa Bennett
Flight Attendant

Breana James
Flight Attendant

Sharron Brooks
Ramp Crew Chief

Nicole White
Ramp Crew Chief

Maya Matthews
Fleet Service Agent

Natasha Williams
Fleet Service Agent

Alisha Bates
Fleet Service Agent

Patricia Milfort
Manager on Duty, Customer Operations

Tracy Brown
Customer Service Agent

Arlene Law
Customer Service Coordinator

Lynette Daniels Moody
Customer Service Coordinator

Lillie Hayes
Customer Service Coordinator

Kacy Stevenson
Customer Service Coordinator

Muje Abdul-Qadir
Control Center Coordinator

Pamela Calton
Aviation Maintenance Technician

Crystal Tochi McDaniel
Duty Manager, Cargo Services

Audrey Van Hook
Cargo Crew Chief

Sandra Butler
Cargo Crew Chief

Jessika Mejia
Premium Guest Services Representative

Veronda Butler
Senior Manager, Premium Guest Services