A family was kicked off an American Airlines flight from Miami to Detroit on Wednesday. American says it was because they smelled. They say it’s because they’re Jewish.
They were given hotel and meal costs and rebooked to fly home today.
Yossi Adler, wife Jennie Adler, and their 19-month-old daughter were seated on their Miami-to-Detroit flight when ground crew asked them to step off the plane — and then the door closed behind them.
“They said, `Sir, people have complained that you have body odor,'” Adler told NBC News on Thursday. “I said, `Excuse me? I need to get home. There is no body odor on me.'”
…He used his cell phone to tape his argument with ground crew shortly after they were taken off the plane.
“There’s a religious reason for some reason that they’re kicking me off the plane. We don’t have odor OK? Nobody here has odor,” Adler is heard saying on the video he shot.
Moments, later a ground crew member asked: “Now you told me for religious reasons you don’t shower, is that what you said?”
Adler back: “No I didn’t! I shower every day. I said you kicked me off because of religious reasons.”
The man insists the reason couldn’t be their smell, since the airline didn’t tell them which member of their party was the one with the foul odor.
According to the airline, however,
Mr. Adler and his wife were removed from the flight when several passengers complained about their body odor. They have been booked into a hotel for the night and given meal vouchers. They have been rebooked on a flight Thursday
Wow. The airline does not mince words here, no mealy mouthed references to ‘passenger convenience’ or ‘an incident’ they come right out and say it was because of the body odor of the passengers. That strong statement alone is enough to make the airline’s explanation believable.
Furthermore, the family’s claim seems unlikely considering,
- Their religion wasn’t listed on the manifest
- This was a flight departing from South Florida. They likely weren’t the only Jews on the flight.
For what it’s worth I’ve been an American Airlines Executive Platinum eight years in a row, I’m nearly a four million miler, and I’ve never experienced discrimination on the airline because I’m Jewish. Several of the recent Presidents of the AAdvantage program have been Jewish.
They even let me select a Kosher meal whenever I wish (which I recommend during Passover, even though I do not keep Kosher).
My takeaway here is this. I’ve been on many flights next to smelly passengers, or passengers behaving badly. It’s nice to see an airline do something about that, and come out of pocket, even – covering extra expenses for the family they off-loaded – to cater to passenger comfort.