Odoriferously Offensive: 3 Black Passengers Sue American Airlines After Being Kicked Off Flight Over

Odoriferously Offensive: 3 Black Passengers Sue American Airlines After Being Kicked Off Flight Over

Well, this reeks of racism.

Three Black men are suing American Airlines after they say they were three out of eight Black passengers who were removed from a flight over a bogus complaint about "offensive body odor."

Source: Urbanandsport/NurPhoto / Getty

Now, many people, especially Black people, who fly often and have had to deal with various unpleasant odors-especially coming from a certain demographic of people who notoriously don't wash their legs and believe bathing daily is only an option-it's probably quite the revelation that being musty is even a thing a person can get kicked off a flight for. Well, according to plaintiffs Emmanuel Jean Joseph, Alvin Jackson and Xavier Veal, who were on a connecting flight from Los Angeles when they were allegedly removed, it is possible to be removed for that reason, but, in this case, only if you're Black.

The three men believe the "body odor" allegation was an excuse to discriminate against them and remove all the Black people from the plane.

From CBS News:

Jean Joseph told CBS News senior transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave that as he gathered his belongings and walked to the jet bridge, he noticed that only Black men were being removed from the flight.

"I started freaking out," Xavier Veal said. He decided to record the incident on his phone.

The lawsuit claims that the men were held in the jetway for about an hour and then moved to the gate area where they were told they would be rebooked on another flight to New York later that day. The lawsuit alleges that an American Airlines employee indicated that the complaint about body odor came from a "white male flight attendant."

A gate agent seen in the video at one point seemed to agree that race was a factor in the decision to remove the men from the flight.

When another flight to New York could not be found, the men were put back on the same plane. Jackson described the experience as uncomfortable, saying, "Everybody staring at me, me and all the other Black people on the plane were just taken off."

The plaintiffs, who filed their suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, said the eight passengers who were all removed were the only Black passengers on American Airlines Flight 832 from Phoenix to New York, and video footage included in the lawsuit showed that the passengers weren't traveling together and did not know each other.

Sue Huhta, an attorney representing the three plaintiffs, claimed American Airlines, which is no stranger to allegations of racial discrimination, declined to provide her clients any answers regarding why they were ever removed in the first place, and she said it seems "fairly apparent that race was part of this dynamic."

"It's almost inconceivable to come up with an explanation for that other than the color of their skin, particularly since they didn't know each other and weren't sitting near each other," Huhta said according to CBS News.

The lawsuit also cites other recent incidents where Black passengers have accused American Airlines of racial discrimination as well as a 2017 NAACP travel advisory urging Black people not to fly on the airline.

And, of course, while the airline allegedly refused to give the plaintiffs answers about their removal, it did release the same generic statement companies accused of racism always put out, and one the airline probably copied and pasted from the other aforementioned instances of racial discrimination allegations.

"We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us," the airline wrote to CBS. "Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people."

It's worth mentioning that the removal of the Black passengers reportedly took place in January, so why is American Airlines just now responding? Perhaps the power of litigation compelled the company to respond. Either way, it's a reminder that flying a public airline is yet another thing added to the ever-growing list of things Black people just can't do in peace.

via: https://bossip.com/2657574/black-men-sue-american-airlines-racism-allegations/

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