Passengers Sue Airline For Allegedly Removing Eight Black Men From Flight Due To Body Odor Complaint: REPORT

(Image created by Mariana Pedrosa/Lummi)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

Three passengers filed a lawsuit Wednesday against American Airlines, claiming that eight black men were evicted during boarding from a flight after someone complained about body odor, CBS News reported.

The three plaintiffs — Emmanuel Jean Joseph, Alvin Jackson and Xavier Veal — allege that the employees removed the only eight black passengers from the flight, the outlet reported.

The alleged incident occurred in January on a flight from Arizona to New York, CBS News reported. The three also alleged that they traveled on a connecting flight to Arizona and did not receive any comments from that crew about the order, the outlet reported. (RELATED: ‘Own Fault and Negligence’: Airline Blames 9-Year-Old Girl For Being Secretly Recorded In Bathroom)

The plaintiffs provided a video that they say proves that the men did not travel together or know each other prior to their removal from the flight, CBS News reported.

“I started freaking out,” Veal told the outlet when he allegedly realized the crew was removing only black men and why he started to record the incident on the phone. (RELATED: Woman Claims Her Massive Boobs Got Her Kicked Off A Plane)

The lawsuit alleges that the complaint about “offensive body odor” originated from a “white male flight attendant” and that a gate agent told the plaintiffs that race was a factor in the decision to remove them from the flight, the outlet reported. When the airlines could not find another flight to New York, the men were allowed to get back on the plane that they were allegedly kicked off of, the lawsuit alleges, according to CBS News.

“Everybody staring at me, me and all the other black people on the plane were just taken off,” Jackson told the outlet.

“I knew that as soon as I got on that plane, a sea of white faces were going to be looking at me and blaming me for their late flight of an hour,” Joseph told CBS News. “We were discriminated against. The entire situation was racist.”

Sue Huhta, the lawyer of the plaintiffs, concurred with his client “that race was part of this dynamic” in their eviction, CBS News reported.

“[T]hey [the plaintiffs] didn’t know each other and weren’t sitting near each other,” Huhta added.

“We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us,” American Airlines wrote in a statement sent to the Daily Caller. “Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people.”