Woman kicked off flight sues United Airlines claiming racial discrimination

Woman kicked off flight sues United Airlines claiming racial discrimination

A Nigerian woman identified as Queen Obioma, is suing United Airlines after she and her children were walked out of a plane following complaints from a white man that he could not stand her body odour. She claimed in her suit that she was told she was not allowed back on the flight because a passenger had complained about her smell, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The Nigerian said the employee of the airline then went back on the plane and escorted her two children off.

The trio were on their second leg of a three-flight journey to Ontario, Canada after they has flown from Lagos.

Before takeoff, Obioma said she went to the bathroom and when she tried to return to her seat, the passenger, who had earlier taken her seat, blocked her path. After a flight attendant did not fix the conflict whilst the man proceeded to deny to go on to his own assigned seat, Obioma made a decision to take his own spot. Once off the plane, Obioma was informed by United staff that "the pilot personally requested that Ms. Obioma be ejected from the aircraft because the white man sitting around her in the business class cabin was not comfortable flying with her because she was 'pungent, '" the lawsuit says. Even though Obioma had been assigned that seat, the passenger refused to move.

Before she could sit, a crew member told Obioma to leave the plane and that the pilot had specifically asked that she be removed from the plane because the male passenger complained that he could not fly with her because of her pungent smell.

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United Airlines' media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the complaint, she mentions that how her children marched out of the plane like criminals, and how humiliating it was for her.

It took five hours before Obioma and her children finally board another plane but the delay affected the scheduled appointment she had and she incurred more expenses.

"We have not yet been served with this suit, and due to the pending litigation involved in this matter, we're unable to provide further comment", a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement.

Braasch, who had walked in on the female first-year graduate student Siyonbola, who studies in the African Studies department at Yale, had insisted she had a right to call the police after meeting resistance from the Nigerian.

Obioma is seeking punitive damages of an unspecified amount and legal fees from the airline.

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