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Michigan Couple Sues American Airlines for Body Odor Comments

— February 10, 2020

Michigan family is kicked of an American Airline flight for complaints about their body odor.

Michigan couple, Yehuda Yosef Adler, Jennie Adler and their then-19-month old daughter were kicked off an American Airlines flight by a gate agent on January 23, 2019, travelling from Miami to Detroit because of a strong body odor.  Now the Adlers are suing the Texas-based airline company.

The gate agent reportedly indicated he “knew people of their race and religion, Orthodox Jews, only took baths once a week,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas.  The company responded that “several passengers and crew members had complained of a body odor.”

“Our team members took care of the family and provided hotel accommodations and meals and rebooked them on a flight to Detroit the next morning,” the statement said. “None of the decisions made by our team in handling this sensitive situation were based on the Adler’s (sic) religion.”

Michigan Couple Sues American Airlines for Body Odor Comments
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

According to the filing, “Yehuda, or ‘Yossi,’ Adler stepped on the plane” and “asked a stewardess for headphones, explaining the last plane he was on said he could ask.  The pilot, nearby, responded in a nasty fashion, saying ‘I wasn’t on that plane and we don’t offer anything complimentary.’”

Then, minutes later, the gate agent “informed the Adlers there was an emergency and asked them to deplane.  After, they were told it was because of body odor and at the instruction of the pilot.  The agent would not clarify which family member had the odor,” the lawsuit reads, stating further, “Mr. Adler asked the agent if the body odor was emanating from him, his wife or child and the agent would not respond to the question but continued to state that the Adlers must leave the plane at the instruction of the pilot and because they had extremely offensive body odor.”

“Plaintiffs were distraught and even though embarrassing, approached persons in the same area of the boarding gate asking them if they could detect unpleasant body odor from any of the Adler family and each and every person (more than 20 people) answered in the negative,” the lawsuit states.  The couple said their family showered that morning.

The couple alleges they’ve been “defamed by American Airlines’ continued statements that they were removed because of their smell.”  They also allege they continue to “suffer emotional distress, damage to personal and professional reputations, loss of appetite, insomnia, and fear associated with airports and flying.”  The lawsuit reads, “Yehuda Adler wore a yarmulke and Jennie Adler wore a shaytel and long skirt the day of the incident, and it made them unequal in the eyes of the airline.  The Adlers are being pressured to see their race and religion as inferior to that of Whites, dirty and unwelcome…Despite having done nothing wrong, American Airlines Flight 1023 took off without plaintiffs but with the plaintiffs’ entire luggage.  It was apparent that the Adlers had been racially profiled.

In September 2019, two Muslim men also filed a lawsuit accusing American Airlines of racial profiling.  The passengers claimed that the crew members “canceled a flight partly because one of them flushed a toilet twice,” according to court documents.


American Airlines agent said Orthodox Jews only bathe once a week, lawsuit claims

American Airlines accused of racially profiling two Muslim men who waved at each other

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