How American Airlines kicked black men off plane over body odor complaints 

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Three out of the eight black men, who were kicked off the plane over body odor complaints from an unidentified passenger have filled a racial discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines.

The eight black passengers who were all seated at different parts of the plane and did not know each other, had boarded Flight 832 at Phoenix Airport for the five-hour flight to New York JFK in January.

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.

One of them, Veal, decided to record the incident on his phone after noticing that all the black passengers, and none of the white passengers, were being removed.

‘I started freaking out,’ he said.

The black men began discussing their removal and three lodged the lawsuit on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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

They were told at the flight gate by an airline agent that they had been “removed because a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger’s body odour”.

Staff 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.

Meanwhile, American Airlines in a statement 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,” theTexas-based airline added.

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Queen Ferry
Queen Ferry
Chinyere Treasure Ikechukwu also known as Queen Ferry, is a Nigerian business Executive, social media savvy Journalist and Content Editor with over seven years experience. She serves as the Vice-Chairman of Naijatraffic Limited. If Treasure is not researching/blogging, she will be making delicious delicacy.

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