A Nigerian woman by the name, Queen Obioma is suing United Airlines for taking United Airlines to court, 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, the woman identified as 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 from Lagos, Nigeria, to Ontario, Canada, where her kids attend school.
Obioma had arrived at her assigned seat in the business class cabin when she saw the man already seated there, a lawsuit she has filed against the company said, and the man refused to vacate the seat.
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.
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.
It was after she had sat down that a crew member told her to go outside the aircraft, and another United employee told her she was getting kicked out of the plane.
According to the lawsuit, the pilot had asked that Obioma be removed because the white man said her smell was “pungent.” The lawsuit read:
Ms. Obioma watched her minor children marched out of the aircraft like criminals, confused and perplexed … She sobbed uncontrollably for a long time.
United Airlines has been accused of discriminating against Obioma and her children because they were black.
The company has said it is unable to comment because it is a pending litigation and it has not been served with the lawsuit.