One Nigerian woman is taking United Airlines to tribunal, alleging that the carrier racially discriminated against her in removing her from her flight at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport after a fellow passenger complained that she had a “pungent” odor.
On May 11, Queen Obioma filed a federal discrimination suit in Texas, stating that she and her children were wrongfully kicked off a flight headed to San Francisco on March 4, 2016, the second leg of a three-flight trip-up from Lagos, Nigeria, to Ontario, Canada, where her kids attend school, the Houston Chronicle reports.
According to the lawsuit, Obioma boarded the plane and detected a while male passenger sitting in her assigned business class seat, from which he refused to move. When a flight attendant failed to resolve the conflict as the man continued to refuse to move to his own assigned seat, Obioma agreed to take his spot.
Obioma went to the restroom before takeoff and returned to find the man blocking her from accessing the seat for several minutes. The mom then alleges that a United staffer, identified as Russel H ., informed her to step off the plane, where she was informed by another United agent that the pilot requested that she exit as the man causing difficulty complained that she was “pungent” and did not feel comfy flying with her.
Shaken, Obioma had her children removed from the flight as well, and the family attained their connect five hours later. A frequent flyer member of United’s Star Alliance program, Obioma tells the airline discriminated against her because she is black, African and Nigerian.
Although United did not immediately return Fox News’ request for remark, they did offer the Chronicle the following statement 😛 TAGEND
“We have not yet been served with this suit and due to the pending litigation involved in this matter, we’re unable to provide further remark, ” spokesman for the airline said, in a emailed statement.
Obioma seeks punitive damages and legal fees.
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