How We’re Removed From Plane Over ‘body Odour’ Complaints — Travelers

Three black men have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines, with claims that they were removed from a flight after a complaint from an unidentified passenger about body odour.

The men, Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal, alleged that they later realised it wasn’t about body odour but racial discrimination as all the blacks on the flight were removed.

The men, who were not seated together and did not know each other, say that every black man was removed from the 5 January flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to New York, BBC reports.

The reports added that each of the men had flown from Los Angeles earlier that day, with no issue.

The men had already taken their seats and were preparing to depart Phoenix when a flight attendant approached each of them and asked them to exit the plane, according to a federal lawsuit filed by a consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen.

The lawsuit adds that while the men waited outside the plane, the pilot made an announcement telling passengers that there was a delay due to an issue with “body odour”. The plaintiffs say the claim about odour was false.

“Throughout the flight – from the moment of their reboarding, in each interaction with the white male flight attendant, and continuing until landing – Plaintiffs experienced profound feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, anger, and distress.

“The act of returning to their seats after the unwarranted delay, navigating past the predominantly white passengers, several of whom eyed them with anger and undue suspicion, compounded their humiliation,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit says that the airline should be forced to pay unspecified damages for the “trauma” the men endured.

At the flight gate, the three men, along with five others, were told by an airline agent that they had been “removed because a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger’s body odour”.

American Airlines employees tried to re-book the men on other flights, but there were no other services to New York that night. The group was at that point allowed to re-take their seats on their original flight.

“American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us. There is no explanation other than the color of our skin. Clearly, this was racial discrimination,” the men said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

However, the Texas-based airline said it was investigating the matter.

“We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us.

“Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people,” American Airlines said in a statement.

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