Advertisement

3 Black men sue American Airlines for discrimination after being kicked from flight

Three Black men sued American Airlines for discrimination after they said they were removed from a flight along with five other Black men over a complaint of "offensive body odor." File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Three Black men sued American Airlines for discrimination after they said they were removed from a flight along with five other Black men over a complaint of "offensive body odor." File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 29 (UPI) -- Three Black men sued American Airlines on Wednesday charging discrimination when they and five other Black men were kicked off a flight in January over a complaint of "offensive body odor."

Emmanuel Jean Joseph, Alvin Jackson and Xavier Jones -- who were flying separately and did not know each other -- said in their complaint filed in New York federal court they were removed from a connecting flight from Phoenix to New York when the incident happened.

Advertisement

The men said no one complained about body odor on their originating flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix nor did they receive any warnings from the carrier's personnel. Joseph said he noticed that only Black men were removed from the flight.

The lawsuit said an American Airlines employee ordered them off the airplane one by one without explanation and they only learned of the reason from another employee who said the complaint came from a "White male flight attendant" after they left the plane.

The lawsuit stated that after American Airlines employees spent an hour trying, and failing, to find alternative flights for the men, they were placed back on the same flight.

Advertisement

Sue Huhta, the attorney for the three men, said it was "fairly apparent" that race played a factor in the men's removal, seeing that none were in different parts of the cabin.

"It's almost inconceivable to come up with an explanation for that other than the color of their skin, particularly since they didn't know each other and weren't sitting near each other."

American Airlines told The Washington Post it takes the allegations of discrimination "very seriously."

"Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people."

Latest Headlines