Every single Black passenger was told to leave an American Airlines flight after a flight attendant complained about body odour, according to a lawsuit.

Eight men who did not know each other, and were sitting in different parts of the aircraft, were allegedly rounded up and made to exit the plane as they sat on the tarmac at Phoenix Airport waiting to depart in January. A “white male flight attendant” had made a complaint about “offensive body odour” inside the aircraft, causing the men to be hauled off Flight 832 to New York JFK, the lawsuit alleges.

After staff spent an hour looking for an alternative flight for the men they were unable to find one and the eight were asked to get back on the plane and retake their seats. Three of the eight men have now filed a racial discrimination lawsuit.

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Every single black passenger on the American Airlines flight was rounded up and ordered off the aircraft, the lawsuit alleges


Every single black passenger on the American Airlines flight was rounded up and ordered off the aircraft, the lawsuit alleges
(
CBS Mornings)

“American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us,” the men said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The Texas-based airline has said it was investigating the incident as the allegations did not align with its values.

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal. They allege that as they were leaving the plane they realised “every Black man on the flight was being removed”.

Each of the men had flown from Los Angeles earlier in the day, with no issue. When they reached the flight gate, the men said an airline agent told them they had been “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 statement, adding: “Clearly this was racial discrimination.”






The eight men were allowed back on after the pilot told the rest of the passengers about the "body odour problem" the suit said


The eight men were allowed back on after the pilot told the rest of the passengers about the “body odour problem” the suit said
(
CBS Mornings)

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After airline employees failed to rebook the men on other flights they were allowed back on the plane – but not until the pilot had made an announcement telling the other passengers there had been a delay due to a “body odour” issue, the suit says. The plaintiffs say the claim about odour was false.

“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 lawsuit states.

“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 is calling for the airline to pay unspecified damages for the “trauma” endured by the men.

“It’s almost inconceivable to come up with an explanation for that other than the colour of their skin,” said attorney Sue Huhta of the lawsuit lodged on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. “Particularly since they didn’t know each other and weren’t sitting near each other.”

American Airlines has yet to offer an explanation for why the men were removed from the flight, but insisted in a statement that they “take all claims of discrimination very seriously”.

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

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/715811164/STTUV1IILEnh1k4h?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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