Posted on May 31, 2024

Three Black Men Sue American Airlines for Racial Discrimination After Allegedly Being Pulled Off Plane Over Body Odor Complaint

Melissa Chan, NBC, May 29, 2024

Three Black men filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against American Airlines, claiming they were racially discriminated against when they were allegedly pulled off a plane over a body odor complaint.

The men had boarded a New York City-bound flight in Phoenix on Jan. 5 when an American Airlines employee asked eight passengers, who were all Black men, to leave the plane, according to the lawsuit. Three of them are part of the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs — Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Xavier Veal — say they did not know each other and were not seated together, according to the lawsuit.

In an interview Wednesday with NBC News, Jackson and Jean-Joseph said they felt singled out for being Black and were humiliated by the episode.

“Being grouped and removed hits all these trigger points of things that I don’t think should happen to Black people anymore,” Jackson, 27, said.

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All eight men reboarded the flight about an hour later, after complaining about discrimination and after the airline could not book them on a later flight, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Eastern District of New York.

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“They suffered during the entire flight home, and the entire incident was traumatic, upsetting, scary, humiliating, and degrading,” the lawsuit said.

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