Woman kicked off flight sues United Airlines claiming racial discrimination

Queen Obioma said in her suit that she and her two children were kicked off a United flight in March 2016 after a passenger complained that she smelled'pungent

Queen Obioma said in her suit that she and her two children were kicked off a United flight in March 2016 after a passenger complained that she smelled'pungent

The suit claims that the airline "wrongfully" signaled out Obioma and her children and that the airline "punished them publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane", ABC News reported.

The Nigerian woman, Queen Obioma, said she and her children suffered unnecessary embarrassment when a flight crew ordered them off a plane in Houston, Texas, in 2016 after the passenger complained to a pilot that she was "pungent" and he was uncomfortable flying on the same plane as her, according to the lawsuit.

However, when Obioma went to the restroom before the takeoff of the flight, she found that that the man is blocking her from accessing her seat. When the passenger refused to give up the seat, Obioma was asked to sit elsewhere. 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.

United agents removed the children from the flight as well, and they made their connection five hours later.

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The lawsuit claims United Airlines removed Obioma and her children due to racial discrimination.

The complaint filed by Obioma's lawyer in Houston stated that, "At that point Ms. Obioma was lost, confused and disoriented".

But just after she sat down, a crew member told Obioma to go outside the aircraft, where another employee told her that she will be removed from the flight. The incident brought an out-of-court settlement and an apology from the company's chief executive Oscar Munoz.

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. In the complaint, she mentions that how her children marched out of the plane like criminals, and how humiliating it was for her.

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As she placed her carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment, she noticed the man who was in her original seat go into the cockpit, according to the suit. After Obiama finally managed to squeeze her way in, a flight attendant came over and said someone needed to speak with her outside.

Obioma is seeking punitive damages and attorney fees. Obioma had been traveling to Canada because her kids attend school there.

United said in a statement that it could not comment on the incident because they have not yet been served the lawsuit and because of pending litigation. A United crew member identified in the suit as Russell H. nearly immediately ordered Obioma off the plane.

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