Couple sues American Airlines after getting kicked off flight for 'smelling bad'

Couple sues American Airlines after getting kicked off flight for 'smelling bad'

Couple sues American Airlines after getting kicked off flight for 'smelling bad'

An Orthodox Jewish couple who was removed from an American Airlines flight over body odor is now suing the airline for discrimination.

Yehuda Yosef Adler, Jennie Adler and their 19-month-old daughter were kicked off the January 23, 2019, flight from Miami to Detroit by a gate agent who said he knew Orthodox Jews only bathed once a week, according to the lawsuit, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"In response, defendant's agent made disparaging and derogatory statements telling the Adlers that he knew that Orthodox Jews take baths once a week", the complaint states.

On Thursday, Fort Worth-based American Airlines reiterated previous statements that passengers and employees had complained about the body odor, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Southfield residents Yehuda Yosef Adler and Jennie Adler filed a lawsuit on January 28 against American Airlines for discrimination on the basis of race, religion and nationality.

American Airlines "took care of the family", the rep added, providing hotel accommodations and meals.

"Once outside, defendant's agent told Mr. Adler that the pilot was booting the family off the plane because of body odor", the family's lawyer Nwadi Nwogu wrote in the lawsuit.

The Adlers say they were wearing traditional garments worn by Orthodox Jews at the time, Mr. Adler in a yarmulke and Mrs. Adler in a shaytel (a wig) and long skirt.

Furthermore, the Adlers claim they requested their luggage be removed from the flight, but the plane took off with their bags, child's auto seat, stroller and diapers, among other effects.

The Adlers said they were distraught and that despite their embarrassment, they approached more than 20 people in the boarding area to ask if they could detect an unpleasant body odor from the family, the lawsuit said.

When Yehuda Yosef Adler boarded, he said he asked the flight attendant for headphones, the lawsuit said. The Adlers requested that their luggage be returned to them, but the agent said the plane was already closed and ready for take-off.

About five minutes after the Adlers took their seats, an American Airlines gate agent approached the family, saying there was an emergency and that they needed to get off the plane, court records show.

The family left the plane and was told they were taken off because of "extremely offensive body odor", according to the lawsuits.

The family believes their removal had nothing to do with body odor.

The couple said they suffered emotional distress, damage to personal and professional reputations, loss of appetite, insomnia, and fear associated with airports and flying, according to the filing.

"The Adlers are being pressured to see their race and religion as inferior to that of whites, dirty and unwelcome", the lawsuit reads.

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