Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • Irish Star

    American Airlines 'kicks every Black passenger off flight' after complaint about 'body odour'

    By Joe Smith & Joe Smith & John O'sullivan,


    A lawsuit has claimed that all Black passengers were asked to leave an American Airlines aircraft following a flight crew's complaint about body odour. In the shocking in-flight incident , which happened last January, eight men, sitting separately and not known to each other, were apparently ousted from the plane as it remained parked on the Phoenix Airport tarmac, set for take-off to New York JFK.

    The disruption ensued due to a "white male flight attendant" raising concerns over an "offensive body odour" within the plane, compelling the men to disembark from Flight 832 , according to the legal claim.

    The airline staff, after spending an hour attempting to secure them alternative flights unsuccessfully, asked the men to return to the plane and retake their seats. Three among the eight have now launched a racial discrimination lawsuit.

    In a collective statement released on Wednesday, the men expressed, "American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us." Responding to the claim, the Texas-based airline stated it was probing the serious allegations, which stood at odds with its values.

    Consumer rights body Public Citizen put forth a federal lawsuit on behalf of Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal. They claim to have realised "every Black man on the flight was being removed" as they were exiting the plane, reports the Mirror .

    The men had initially flown from Los Angeles without incident, but upon reaching the gate for their connecting flight, an airline representative informed them that they were being "removed because a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger's body odour."

    "There is no explanation other than the colour of our skin," the men said in their communication, going on to add: "Clearly this was racial discrimination."

    When the airline staff did not manage to rebook them onto alternative flights, they were allowed to re-board the plane - only after the pilot made a public announcement to inform fellow passengers about the delay due to a so-called "body odour" issue. The complainants refute these claims about any odour in the lawsuit.

    "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," describe the court documents.

    "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 requests the airline to pay an unspecified amount in damages for the "trauma" endured by the passengers.

    For all the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our FREE newsletters here .

    Huhta, the attorney representing the clients involved in Wednesday's lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, stated: "It's almost inconceivable to come up with an explanation for that other than the colour of their skin." She added: "Particularly since they didn't know each other and weren't sitting near each other."

    American Airlines has yet to give any reason for why the men were ejected from the flight, but reassured in a statement that they "take all claims of discrimination very seriously."

    They further stated: "We want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us," and "Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people."

    For the latest local news and features on Irish America, visit our homepage here .

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0