Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against American Airlines Over Plane Removal Incident

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Three African American men filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines, claiming they were removed from a flight based on a complaint about body odor, which they believe was a cover for racial discrimination.

The plaintiffs, identified as Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal, claim that despite flying separately and not knowing each other, all black passengers on the January 5 flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to New York were asked to disembark.

According to a federal lawsuit filed by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, the men were already seated and preparing for departure when they were approached by a flight attendant and asked to leave the plane. Subsequently, the pilot announced a delay due to an alleged issue with “body odour,” a claim the plaintiffs refute.

The lawsuit alleges that the incident caused the men to experience profound feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, anger, and distress, particularly as they returned to their seats amidst the gaze of predominantly white passengers.

Upon reaching the flight gate, the men were informed by an airline agent that they were removed due to a complaint from a white male flight attendant about an unidentified passenger’s body odour. Despite attempts by American Airlines staff to rebook the men on alternative flights, none were available, and they were eventually allowed to reboard their original flight.

In a joint statement, the plaintiffs expressed their belief that they were targeted solely because of their race, resulting in embarrassment and humiliation. They assert that this incident constitutes clear racial discrimination.

American Airlines stated that they are investigating the matter and emphasized their commitment to addressing discrimination claims and ensuring a positive flying experience for all customers.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the trauma endured by the plaintiffs.


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