Nigerian Queen Obioma Sues: United Airlines Kicked Her Off Flight For Her Odor

A Nigerian woman is suing United Airlines after she was kicked off a flight from Houston to San Francisco.

Two years ago Queen Obioma was enroute Lagos, Nigeria ultimately bound for Ontario, Canada where her kids were going to school.

  • Upon boarding she found someone in her business class seat. They refused to move. Eventually she took that passenger’s seat instead.

  • She says she went to the lavatory prior to departure, and after exiting the same man blocked her from returning to her seat.

  • Then United ordered her off the plane “because she was ‘pungent'”

She ultimately took another connecting flight to San Francisco with her kids five hours later.

While the airline “said they would not comment” and the woman isn’t suing the other passenger and we don’t have a response from him surely there has to be more to the story than that Queen Obioma smelled badly on one flight, but smelled better on a flight five hours later.

Airlines have to be careful of smells onboard. Last summer there was fake news claiming passengers became ill after someone passed gas onboard an American Airlines flight. And British Airways once did have to turn around an aircraft after someone used the lavatory.

Air Canada once kicked an American passenger off a regional jet who smelled too badly. With just 50 seats there wasn’t far to move him away from other passengers.

And as I’ve observed in the past I’m surprised situations like this don’t occur more frequently at Washington National airport.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Queen. Internet star. Youtube sensation.

    Who gives a rat? Behave badly, and you’re off the aircraft.

  2. Well, this is new. I thought the reason to avoid traveling with THE GREAT UNWASHED was so that you could be the only unwashed in that cabin. I’ll have to rethink my odor control strategy. Perhaps multiple boxes of the flow through baking soda boxes.

  3. Seems to me that public gas passing, like other loutish behavior, is an increasing problem. I was recently in an American 1st class cabin (true 3-class equipment) with someone who obviously didn’t care about controlling himself. It was appalling. And one could observe flight attendants and fellow passengers evincing their disgust. What do you do?

  4. Don’t know the facts. But odors and air quality in a very confined space seems like a real consideration to me.

  5. Love the article. But if I may be so bold: to say the woman smells “badly” means her nose doesn’t function. We’re trained to put adverbs after verbs from our schoolteachers, but notice that “is” is a verb and we don’t say “he is nicely.” Verbs of perception are treated in the same way: “she looks sad” if she seems sad, while “she looks sadly out the window.” Feel, sound, smell and taste all operate this way.

  6. Don’t get it, someone sat in her business class seat and she sat in his economy seat?

    Then same guy blocked her from his previous seat? Blocked her from both seats?

    So her fault is that she is not litigious?

  7. A friend of mine said he went from LA to the Middle East and the people in that plane smelled so bad it was unbelievable. It was a very large newer plane on a Middle Eastern Airline. Very nice. But it smelled like a farm on a plane. It’s cultural. If you’re the type that showers daily it’s advisable that you go through Europe on those long flights. Not sure what to do in the states with someone that smells that bad. Maybe you have to carry a scented doctor’s mask or something.

  8. I have no problem with airlines booting people off for smelling badly.

    I mean: Someone passing gas while asleep? Not pleasant, but totally understandable. Especially in regards to pressure, food consumption etc… – However, that’s a far cry from emitting a foul odour upon boarding. People shouldn’t have to deal with that. It’s 2018, and showering isn’t hard.

  9. I have flown in and out of western Africa for years and believe me, this is not a story about gas, it’s about BO. Their culture simply does not bathe on a regular basis.

  10. Why would anyone not bathe, use antiperspespirant and put on clean clothes before leaving the house? I dont see how you can hold farts in though.

  11. I sure hope she doesn’t settle for $$$., but takes it all the way to court where a judge and/or jury can SET PRESCEDENCE for all future occurrences.
    Settling for cash is JUST what an abusive corporation aims to do, which keeps it out of the legal record whereby NOONE is to blame!!! That’s outrageous, but people will be abused horribly in order to make some money out of it. Sick & emotionally insane world.

  12. People are totally misunderstanding this story. It’s not about passing gas.

    It’s body odor. It’s a cultural thing. But if you are in another country I think it’s fair that you should have to abide by their cultural norms. Meaning, she should be expected to put on deodorant/perfume/wash herself before being allowed to travel on an aircraft in the US.

    Now, if I am traveling to a part of the world where the culture doesn’t believe in using deodorant products then I don’t think I’d have much cause to complain about it because that’s just norm and acceptable there.

    In the US though, not so much.

  13. S. Foi, the word is spelled PRECEDENCE. Don’t knock yourself out adding all those esses.
    I agree that everyone should bathe and wear clean clothes, especially when preparing to spend several hours in the confined space of an aircraft. It’s common courtesy.
    May I add that it is also common courtesy to dress nicely, meaning not to wear shorts and undershirts on a flight. Nobody wants to look at your ugly, hairy calves and shoulders. You are not at the beach.

  14. I think you missed the point. This is not about odors. This is about a racist man that did not want to fly with black passengers sitting next to him. So his excuse is “she smells bad”. So did she smell bad before or after he took the more expensive seat that she paid for. This degrading behavior and comment was an excuse. Funny, that the kids did not smell bad sitting in economy in the tight rows. And five hours later, funny, that the woman and her two kids did not smell bad to get on another flight. No, the racist passenger should have been kicked off. Obviously, blocking the bathroom path and acting like a jerk was simply racism nothing else. And the racist comments about middle eastern people and African from the less intelligent, discriminatory folks on this board is appalling. Many of you think you own this country and can say and do as you please. People are tired of your sad sick behavior. I hope the Nigerian woman and her kids take United to the bank for a big sum. It will teach half of you on this board to be so ignorant and insensitive. And by the way, just because you fly for hours, does not mean that you stink. And when people start filing personal lawsuits against some of the folks, like the ignorant commenters on this board, it will teach you to act and behave like civilize human being. Being broke and paying out hard earn dollars are hard lessons to learn due to ignorance.

  15. This is heartbreaking. Not just because it happened, but because apparently, no one else was on the plane. No one spoke up.

    Obviously, the white guy smelled like an butthole. And I’d be much more uncomfortable flying with a man who refused to move from a seat not assigned to him. So 100, 200 people on that flight were expected to sit in their assigned seats, but he refused to move? What does he know that other passengers don’t? What’s he got planned?
    And why would no one come to that poor woman’s defense? Especially the flight crew? Who is that man that he gets to fly above the rules?

    This makes me incredibly angry.

  16. Sorry folks, I’m not buying this one. Way too farfetched to be true. Read the story again. Also, why is this lawsuit being pursued 2 years after the fact? Yes, Lentoasima, you nailed it – 419.

  17. I have never seen a situation where one was sitting in “an assigned seat” that wasn’t theirs and wasn’t asked to move. Doesn’t matter the color, the smell, the look; an “assigned seat” is just that. Of course, there is much more to this story than published.

    Plus I believe this is the same woman who emailed me to tell me she was holding $72 million for me; all I had to do was give her my SSN, license number, bank account numbers, address, and other personal information, and it would be ALL MINE! I did just that and maybe, just maybe, she was on her way to me with the money!!!

  18. @IIma – judges and juries set PRECEDENTS. Let’s be careful being snarky when correcting someone else .

  19. Can you imagine how Trumpian and hideously fat a slob it would take to refuse to move his 300 pound lardass out of the lady’s business class seat, and then tell her he doesn’t want her even sitting near her because she’s black and she smells? This is what we’ve come to in this country when the civil-war re-enacting racist pig 40% has outvoted modernity.

  20. USA Airlines revert too easily and quickly to removing people from flights, usually aggressively too. Other airlines seem to be able to sort these problems out without being quite so officious or at least in a less vindictive way.

  21. Why do some of you fools think this guy was sitting in her seat or the wrong seat? Oh, because you only read as far as black and white. Gotcha.

    The guy refused to sit in his assigned seat if he had to sit beside Ms. Stankass. He never moved to another seat, he never took her seat he simply rejected his seat as long as it was beside a pungent smelling woman. The black and white stuff is just to stir a pot. A pot that has been reaching a boil now for 2 years. (The age of the complaint) Oh how convenient. Wait til the public is in a frenzy over racial nonesense and then bust out the stank bomb. If it was a white guy beside a white woman, there would be no fucking way this case would even show up on google searches. But since she was black and he was white, that made all the difference.

    The good thing about these comments is majority of them focus on the real issue… Odor. And a small minority focus on the race garbage and miss the point and the story because apparently we react before reading a story in its entirety.

    This whole thing is bullshit and proof that after an organization or company does one wrong, they will constantly be called out on other things by morons thinking they can get rich quick. Nigerian prince, died, last living relative, funds tied up, send me money, you get rich. 419. It really goes without saying.

  22. What does bad odor have to do with someone taking the seat of another first class passenger. Are these two separate stories or one story that is missing some parts?

  23. I hope everyone opens their eyes finally to the absolute ruin that the farthest right wing on earth has in store for our country. They’ve already completely destroyed civil discourse, to the point that we can’t even be heard any longer if we don’t go as low as they are. Watch Biden try to go low with fisticuffs to take it to Trump for 2020 to have a chance of winning against the most hated man in world history, one who is only supported by a 40% of the US who are so debased they’d let a hideous baboon like that grab their daughter’s pussy! We’ve always known that rednecks are the lowest scum on earth, but now via talk radio and Faux they’ve polluted the mainstream enough that half the country is grossly obese and proud about it because they’re cons, even though they have zero connection to modernity or anything in the modern world except hate and Nazi marches.

  24. Wow! I’m very interested that this topic has touched us so
    deeply. I am quite old now but I still remember vividly what a young woman said to me and to another man, a stranger , with whom I was arguing about something I have long forgotten.
    “We can be right…or we can have peace”

    I know it can sound simplistic or even irrelevant
    But the truth is i heard her say this when I was in my thirties and I’m eighty two now.

    And I still can’t stop trying to live up to it, and failing still, but, good news, occasionally succeeding!
    (Please don’t be mad)



  25. Where is it mentioned in the piece that the man taking the business-class seat was flying economy? I can’t find that reference.

  26. CMaine, you probably smell as well. Yes, we own this country, we shower and use deodorant. excuses. As retired FA, I can attest you all smell like a Greyhound bus. Get over it, it’s not a third world country, stop embarrassing yourselves. AND Keep your Shoes ON. STOP DISROBING. Dress decently. Keep your hands to yourselves, Read a book, shut your nasty mouth, no one cares who you are, or who you THINK YOU ARE. OH MY, THAT FELT GOOD. BUHBUH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.