Nigerian woman kicked from plane over body odour is suing airline

Nigerian woman kicked from plane over body odour is suing airline

UAL, +1.36%, from Houston to San Francisco on March 4, 2016, for the second leg of a three-flight trip from Lagos, Nigeria to Ontario, Canada, when they found that a man was sitting in her assigned seat, the Houston Chronicle reported.

In a statement to ABC News on Sunday, the airline said, "United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will investigate this matter".

Obioma filed a civil rights lawsuit against United Airlines, saying the airline discriminated against her because she is black, Nigerian and African.

"She politely informed the white male that he was occupying her assigned seat but he ignored her", according to the suit.

Her lawsuit claims she was "wrongfully" singled out by United because of her race, and that she and her children were 'punished...publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane'. Obioma says that the incident was not about her smell but her skin. Both she and the flight attendant asked the man to get up, but he refused so she sat in another seat, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Houston.

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.

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As soon as she sat down, Obioma said a United Airlines staff member approached her and said she needed to exit the aircraft to speak with someone outside. The lawsuit mentioned that the pilot personally requested for her removal from the aircraft as the male unidentified passenger complained of her smelling "pungent" and he was uncomfortable flying with her. On her way back, the same passenger reportedly blocked her from accessing her seat.

"At that point, Ms. Obioma was lost, confused and disoriented".

Obioma explained that she was taking her children to school in Canada for the first time and that they had appointments they could not miss. "Her mind went blank and she was utterly befuddled", the suit states.

Obioma, appalled at the situation, requested to have her children deplane as well so the family could be together. She said "excuse me" thrice but when the passenger refused, Obioma squeezed her way past him.

The mother was left sobbing and confused over what steps to take, according to the Dallas News, and as a result, the family was reportedly forced to wait hours before they could get on another flight, which Obioma said caused them to miss important appointments in Ontario. She is seeking punitive damages and attorney's fees.