A Nigerian woman is suing United Airlines claiming she and her two children were kicked off a flight because a passenger complained that she had body odour.
Queen Obioma said she was traveling from Lagos, Nigeria, to Ontario, Canada, on March 4, 2016, when an airline employee escorted her from the plane before takeoff.
Obioma said the employee then went back on the plane and escorted her two children off. She claimed in her suit that she was told she was not allowed back on the flight because a passenger had complained about her smell, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Nigerian woman said the drama started when she and her family boarded a United flight at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. She said when she got to her assigned seat in business class a white man was already sitting there.
The man reportedly refused to move, the lawsuit states. Flight personnel got involved but the man still refused to get out the seat so Obioma said she agreed to sit in the man’s assigned seat nearby.
Before takeoff, Obioma said she went to the bathroom and when she tried to return to her seat the passenger who had earlier taken her seat blocked her path.
She said in the suit that a United employee then ordered her off the plane. Obioma said she was met by another employee who informed her that she was not allowed back on the plane because the pilot received a complaint from the man sitting near her that she smelled ‘pungent’.
The man reportedly told the pilot that he was not comfortable flying with her. Obioma said was distraught and informed personnel that her two children were still on the flight. She said a United worker removed her children from the plane.
According to the suit, the family was on the second leg of a three flight journey from Nigeria to Canada, where her children attend school.
Obioma, a frequent flier member on the United’s Star Alliances, said they were traveling from Houston to San Francisco where they were going to take a connecting flight to Canada.