United Airlines Kicked Out Nigerian Woman Because Of 'Pungent' Odor

United Airlines

The airline now faces a federal discrimination lawsuit.

Obioma said the drama started when she and her family boarded a United flight at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Queen Obioma's lawsuit says that after flying from Lagos, Nigeria, to San Francisco, she and her children were removed from the plane because a white male passenger thought she smelled "pungent".

She had reportedly said "excuse me" 3 times, and eventually had to squeeze past several minutes later after the man refused to move out of the way. After a flight attendant did not fix the conflict whilst the man proceeded to deny to go on to his own assigned seat, Obioma chose to take his own spot. At that point, the flight attendant should have taken measures against the man since he was blocking another passenger's seat.

As Obioma was putting her luggage in the overhead compartment, she noticed the man who was occupying her seat got up and headed towards the cockpit.

She had been asked to sit elsewhere by a flight crew member, but she again encountered the man when she was returning from the bathroom and he blocked her from getting to her seat.

The employee informed Obioma that she would not be allowed to take this flight.

She said in the suit that a United employee then ordered her off the plane.

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As she insisted, she was informed by a flight crew that the pilot had requested her to leave the plane because the other passenger had complained he was not comfortable traveling next to her because she was stinking.

Obioma asked what he meant by "pungent" and the employee told her that it meant she smelled.

But she wasn't allowed back on the flight, she said, and stood sobbing as employees removed her luggage and her children from the plane.

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.

The suit which was filed on Friday in Houston has yet to be answered.

Obioma explained that her children had important appointments related to school that they could not miss but she was refused re-entry into the plane.

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.

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