A Nigerian woman filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against United Airlines accusing the company of removing her and her kids from a flight after a White passenger said she smelled, ABC News reports.
Queen Obioma said she was publicly humiliated when the airline’s flight crew demanded that she get off the plane in Houston, Texas, in March 2016.
In federal court in Houston on Friday, she filed a lawsuit claiming that the passenger told the pilot that she was “pungent” and wasn’t comfortable flying with her. She is seeking $75,000 in damages.
Obioma was flying to Ontario, Canada to enroll her kids in school when they stopped off in Houston. She said that she found a man sitting in her business class-seat and when she asked him to move, he refused, according to ABC News.
She said that when she was assigned to another business class seat by the airline’s crew she saw the man walk to the cockpit, the suit alleges.
Per ABC News, the lawsuit claims a flight attendant “ordered her out of the aircraft stating that her attention was required because someone was waiting to speak with her outside the aircraft.”
She was told that the “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,’” per the lawsuit.
In a statement to ABC News, United said it “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will investigate this matter.”
“We have not yet been served with this suit and due to the pending litigation involved, we’re unable to provide further comment,” a spokeswoman told ABC.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.