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American Airlines sued for discrimination over removal of pax due to body odor

Three black men have filed a federal lawsuit against American Airlines for racial discrimination. 

The men allege the airline forced them and other black male passengers to disembark a plane after a complaint about body odor.

Plaintiffs Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Xavier Veal, who were not known to one another, boarded American Airlines Flight AA 832 from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on January 5, 2024.

The lawsuit claims that prior to takeoff an American Airlines representative approached the plaintiffs, who were not seated together, and ordered them to deboard the aircraft without explanation.

Five other passengers were approached and were also removed from the flight. The plaintiffs said that all eight passengers removed from the flight were black men.

Once they were off the plane, an airline representative advised the men that they would need to be rebooked on another flight. 

The complaint alleges that when asked for an explanation, the airline representative said they were removed from the flight because a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger’s body odor.  

When the plaintiffs pointed out that it looked like they were being targeted because of their skin color, at least one American Airlines’ representative responded that she did “not disagree”.

The complaint also claims the pilot announced to the remaining passengers that the men had been removed due to a complaint over body odor.

The plaintiffs and the other removed passengers were informed that the airline could not find an alternative flight and that they were allowed to return back to the aircraft. 

According to the complaint, as the men reboarded the flight, they were “eyed with suspicion by the predominantly white passengers” who remained on board. 

Nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, which represents the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit in the federal court in the Eastern District of New York on May 29, 2024.

American Airlines told SkyNews that it was looking into the claims.

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

The post American Airlines sued for discrimination over removal of pax due to body odor appeared first on AeroTime.

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