Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Nigerian woman sues US airline for ejecting her over body odour

Nigerian woman sues US airline for ejecting her over body odour

In the latest in a long line of incidents, United Airlines is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit following an incident where a Nigerian woman and her children were kicked off a United Airlines flight after, she alleges, a white male passenger complained that she had a "pungent" odor.

The family was put on another flight to San Francisco that departed five hours later, according to the Houston Chronicle, resulting in missed appointments and total rearrangement of their travel itinerary, according to the suit.

According to her, flight personnel got involved but the man still refused to get out of the seat so she agreed to sit in the man's assigned seat nearby.

Despite Obioma's attempts to explain that she was taking her children to Canada to attend school and that they had appointments there that they could not miss, airline workers refused to let her family back on the plane. She said "excuse me" three times, but was ignored.

According to the lawsuit, Obioma boarded the plane and found a while male passenger sitting in her assigned business class seat, from which he refused to move. After several minutes, she finally made her way past him and sat down. At that point, the flight attendant should have taken measures against the man since he was blocking another passenger's seat.

Later, a staff of the United Airlines identified as Russel H. instructed her to step off the plane, and she was informed by another staff that the pilot has requested her to leave as the man complained that she was "pungent" and was not comfortable to fly with her.

The suit was filed in Federal court on Friday in Houston. "Her mind went blank and she was utterly befuddled", according to the complaint.


They were seated separately as the second leg began early the morning of March 4, with the kids in economy class and Obioma in business class.

"Continue. Get my good side", replied Lolade Siyonbola who also gave responding police officers a headache while they tried to verify her identity. Eventually, she was able to squeeze her way into her seat.

Obioma's lawsuit claims that she was discriminated against intentionally, and that this was nothing more than a hate crime due to her being of African descent.

NAIJ.com had reported that a Nigerian Lolade Siyonbola studying at the Ivy League University has shared a discomforting news of how a race biased student called the police on her.

United Airlines' media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A United spokeswoman said in a statement that the company has not been served with the lawsuit and is unable to comment because of the pending litigation.

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