Family Kicked Off American Flight: Body Odor Or Discrimination?

Filed Under: American

Yossi Adler, his wife Jennie Adler, and their 19 month old daughter, were kicked off an American Airlines flight on Wednesday night when returning home to Detroit from a vacation in Miami.

They were allegedly kicked off the plane because other passengers complained of their body odor. Meanwhile the family claimed that they were being discriminated against for being Jewish.

On both sides there aren’t many supporting facts here. That’s to say that the supervisor doesn’t clarify who allegedly smelled, and at the same time the passengers don’t explain why they think they were discriminated against for being Jewish (like, did someone make an anti-semitic comment, or…?).

The passenger took video footage of his confrontation with an American Airlines supervisor after being removed from the plane:

What an odd interaction. He says “there is a religious reason for some reason that they’re kicking me off the plane.” Then a moment later the supervisor asks “now you told me for religious reasons you don’t shower, is that what you said?” He responds “No I didn’t! I shower every day. I said you kicked me off because of religious reasons.”

The guy also goes up to other people in the terminal and asks them if they think he smells. Maybe I’m too socially awkward in this way, but even if someone smelled like a dumpster I wouldn’t tell them if they came up to me with a camera in my face and asked me.

Here’s a news report interviewing them, to give you a sense of their side of the story:

Meanwhile American Airlines issued the following statement:

“Mr. Adler and his wife were removed from the flight when several passengers complained about their body odor. They were booked into a hotel for the night, given meal vouchers and rebooked on a flight.”

A further issue here is that the passengers claim that American promised they’d offload their bags so they’d have them for the overnight, though the supervisor claims that they made no such promise. So they were left without their belongings for the night.

Bottom line

We’ll never fully know what happened here.

On one hand, if several other passengers complained about their smell, they must have smelled really bad. Like, really bad, because it’s one thing if a seatmate complains, but people in other rows? But in a way I question if that was actually the case and there were several complaints, or if it was just their seatmate who complained of odors.

They were also traveling with a toddler, which makes this situation even worse for them.

As far as the claim that they were kicked off for being Jewish, no doubt discrimination still exists. I don’t want to dismiss that, but at the same time they don’t provide any explanation of why they think they were discriminated against, so I have a hard time putting much weight on that.

What do you make of this situation?

  1. Wait, so AA did NOT offload their bags when they offloaded the passenger? That is a serious AAA violation, or it certainly would be in most parts of the world.

  2. The supervisor’s comment “now you told me for religious reasons you don’t shower, is that what you said?” seems to reflect a clear misunderstanding of Jewish culture and could be construed as anti-Semitic. I’ll concede that when I meet people with different religions than mine I do ask clarifying questions as necessary in order to be a good host (e.g. confirming with Muslims whether they eat pork if I invite them for dinner). That doesn’t seem to be the tone of this supervisor.

  3. I posted this in reply to Gary’s post on the same story, but I think it bears repeating here: I doubt this was religious discrimination by AA, but that doesn’t make AA’s decision any less appalling. This is a family with an infant travelling on what appears to be the last flight on the night. Maybe they smelled awful, maybe they didn’t. But there had to be a better way of handling the issue. If we are really going to kick passengers off because of how they smell (or, better stated, because of how other passengers claim they smell), we are going down a very slippery slope.

  4. I wish this would actually happen more often.

    Something to consider……Dearborn, MI is home to the highest concentration of Arabs in the entire US. As this plane was flying to DTW, is it possible that this was actually a plane full of Arabs who thought they’d “try and get the Jew kicked off the flight”?

  5. @Storm exactly. I suppose now we are coming full circle. I remember after 9/11 a Delta pilot refused to start a flight because he wasn’t “comfortable” with two brown people on the plane, in first class no less!

  6. I applaud AA for this. Odor has no race or religion. If you stink you’re out and that’s it. Not all of us Jews smell I promise!

  7. I did wonder if they defied authority and chose not to deplane…. would a Dr. David Dao type incident occur? After all, they boarded and were sitting down already inside the plane.

  8. Oh this is definitely a thing.

    I’ve been adjacent to really foul smelling hasidic Jewish people on a plane, and it was bad enough to make me queasy.

    It’s real simple honestly, if you’re religious practices are such that they affect the comfort and well-being of others, then don’t be surprised when there are repercussions.

  9. What a week. A fat assed sex tourist gets his posterior wiped for free on EVA, while AA offloads people for stinking up the cabin! Life’s rich tapestry indeed!

  10. Uh? Am I misunderstanding this? The information the agent got was that the captain kicked them off because passengers complained about odor. Then then passenger claims they got kicked out due to religious reason, while as the same time telling they don’t have odor. If you are not expert in religious culture, one might assume when you claim religion on odor related issue, then it might be because you cant shower or certain dates or after something, etc… He basically is trying to clarify what the passenger is implying. Then the passenger accuses the agent of kicking him out for religious reason? I think the passenger was so emotional he was not connecting what he was saying himself a few seconds ago himself. Some people, when angry, just say first things that comes to mind and don’t don’t really connect what they said few seconds ago.

  11. Bad body odor is so nauseating it can make people vomit ! If they really smelled that bad they should of been kicked off! Deodorant cost $3

  12. Ohhhhhhh, I once flew 15 hours to Asia next to a couple that probably never showered since they were born. My wife vomited several times during flight as she could not stand the odor. Finally after several complaints to the crew they found us new seats. I won’t take any side here but I can tell you that travelling next to people that smell bad is a nightmare.

  13. @Frank, We do not know if they had an odor, we only know that others complained. Life can be complicated and people are very complicated.
    Deodorant does not really mask the odor well, it is more likely you meant that they should use antiperspirant as a preventative.

    @Alpha, My sources tell me there is no real reason for Observant Jews to not shower. You might have had an experience with religious Jews but that is not based upon any religious practice,

    Not every person of any race, creed or religion is a terrorist. It does seem as though 9/11 was related to a certain religion. The class of service the passengers you mention is immaterial. Security concerns override class of service. Premium passengers have preferred lines but do not skip security. It is also my recollection that some 9/11 terrorists flew premium classes.

  14. AA needed the seats because of overbooking.
    Just a new approach to remove passengers from the plane and don’t need to pay a lot.
    A hotel night and some mediocre food voucher are less expensive.

  15. Truly despicable how AA hides behind “passenger complaints” to throw off a family with an infant. Have the guts to make the determination yourselves. I wish AA was attentive to customer complaints, but that is just a facade. It’s pretty crazy that another passenger can determine if you fly or not.

  16. @Charles Rite? Lucky’s gettin all VFTW up in here! I, for one, don’t mind.

    (I actually enjoyed VFTW for its mix of usefulness and tawdriness, but stopped reading because I didn’t want to tacitly support the unrestrained racism in some of the comment threads.)

  17. If your body odor is bad enough that multiple passengers complain to the crew, you need to get off the flight and into a shower. I don’t care about your religious beliefs in a case like this.

  18. I don’t have a clue what really went on here and none of us do. But what I do know is that air travel in the U.S. has become a miserable, wretched experience with horrible behavior from both passengers and airline employees. How did it get so bad?

    Can’t wait until that next recession when most of the U.S. airlines go right back into bankruptcy and start crying and pleading for bailouts (e.g., stealing your money to keep them afloat).

    As anti-regulation as I tend to be, there needs to be very, very strong regulation and changes in the airline industry including breakups of some of these mega-carriers and prohibition on future mergers.

  19. No doubt at all they smelled bad. If someone is hinting that you smell bad, even if you are not, doubt takes over and you will go for a shower or whatever.
    The fact that this guy got overheated indicates that they must have smelled. Denial is the strongest confirmation.

  20. Just the other night I was deadheading to PHX and a pax walked by on boarding and reeked of ‘pee pee pants’, the smell was so bad I turned around to see who it was. I caught the eye of the other deadheading crew a few rows back and we both had the same look on our faces- thankful he wasn’t sitting by us. I wasn’t on the working crew so kept my mouth shut.
    If I’d had to sit by the man, he wasn’t elderly, I would have said something. We’ve all had to sit by someone with bad BO, a toddler with a poopy diaper or others with similar bad smells. I don’t like dry heaving every few minutes because I can’t take the smell.
    Believe me, Religion or discrimination played no part in this. If several paxs complained of the smell, it must have been pretty bad. It must be readily apparent for the airline to take this issue on and face backlash.

  21. Air travel is bad enough without having to put up with horrendous body odor from fellow passengers. It’s hard to imagine that several passengers made up a story in order to get this family booted. The Captain did the right thing.

  22. I was on an AA flight from ORD to SFO in April 2017 when an Indian family was removed from the flight for their body odor. I felt genuinely embarrassed for them. The pilot even got involved.

  23. @Donato – I wasn’t aware of any reason either, but it was something I noticed on several flights to/from NYC.

  24. The husband’s hair was matted and looked unwashed. His pressured speech revealed possibly some mental illness. I am sure that they stank terribly. If they had the means take a vacation to Miami they had the means to take a shower.

  25. It’s very possible they showered that morning. However, maybe their clothes hadn’t been washed for several days and smelled?

  26. I wasn’t there and you weren’t there so we don’t know exactly what happened and whether or not anyone had BO, but I believe in innocent until proven guilty.

    Firstly, AA promised them their car seat and bags would be offloaded, and then took them to detroit! They stranded a couple with an infant, WITHOUT THEIR CAR SEAT, AND WITHOUT THEIR LUGGAGE, OVERNIGHT!

    Second, judging by looks, the couple look, normal, well kempt.
    Third, There is no prohibtion for Jewish people to shower.
    Fourth, they look like orthodox Jews, not hasidic.
    Fifth, Lets say someone did complain of BO on the plane: Did the stews verify it? Did they really INDIVIDUALLY smell around the area? It could have been from someone on the last flight. Maybe the man did smell (which I doubt), they still should have let his wife and baby fly.
    Were there no emptier rows that they could have put a person with a BO issue?
    Planes also have air fresheners, did they spray any?

    I think we can all agree AA didn’t handle this properly, even if someone in their party really did smell, which I highly doubt.

  27. Their removal is covered by the “Contract of Carriage” available on every airline website in the USA.

    Offensive odors and personal hygiene are considerations that allow for a passenger’s removal or their not being permitted to board.

    There is nothing more to the story.
    If a person has chosen not to maintain their hygiene, they accept the risk they will not be in in compliance with Contract of Carriage. Take time to read it.

  28. I’m sure he must have smelled bad – poor guy.

    The worst smelling people I have ever encountered are actually in Europe. Lots of filthy people who rarely shower or brush their teeth, while smoking constantly. Almost vomited once on a flight from Rome to Brussels.

    Indians are a close second, but it’s pure body odor without the additive effect of nasty breath and cigarette smoke. Also, since they’re my people I have natural immunity.

    In no circumstances have I ever encountered someone so noxious as to get them kicked off a plane.

  29. OK now, here’s my 2 cents worth: First of all, American Airlines transports thousands of Jewish passengers every day. Does American have a history of banning Jewish passengers from its flights, or other anti-Semitic practices? If so, we would have heard about it long ago. And are we to believe American suddenly instituted a no-Jews policy? I don’t think so. In this day and time, no airline would be so foolish as to openly practice religious discrimination and thereby expose itself to litigation and incalculable damage to its reputation. And I like to think most people, airline executives included, are enlightened enough nowadays that we’re past the era of racial or religious discrimination. So why would American decide to single out one Jewish family? And in any case, how would the flight crew have known they were Jewish? The name Adler isn’t always Jewish. So I agree with Lucky, their claim of religious discrimination doesn’t hold much water. And also, in today’s political climate, any member of a racial or religious minority who gets what he/she thinks is a bad deal, regardless of the circumstances, is going to claim discrimination and go running for the nearest lawyer and TV camera. That’s how I see it and there you have it.

  30. While i’m not sympathetic to the family, and certainly not a fan of any body odor, three small points in the family’s favor:

    First, I’m playing devil’s advocate here– but bear me out. Awful as it is, there’s no law per se that says you can’t fly with body odor. So one could have made the case that if the passengers found the odor offensive, that THEY should have either moved or rebooked on the next flight?

    Second, people with body odor often don’t realize they have it since they’re so desensitized. Clearly, if several passengers complained, it must have been bad, but the guy’s claim that he didn’t smell may have been sincere. think they had it.

    Third, I don’t myself particularly enjoy kids, but one must always be extra accommodating when there is a kid involved. If they did have to remove the family, the airline should have taken the extra step to remove their belongings. Or allowed the kid and mother to fly on (assuming that the father was the only olfactory offender).

    Just my 3 cents.

  31. This should be happened more often …people travel all over as they are walking around their house .no shoes , dirty clothes , transportation that smell terrible …it should be regulations in how to dress and tide up to board any public transportation the end you are sharing a closed very comfind place….the type people who were excluded from flying always have excuses to be descriminated …hey America ..let’s wake up …noone else bring religion when we need to obey authorities ….

  32. Discrimination exists for this very reason. Prejudice & “racism” is a human instinct that we need & has maintained our survival. Stop feeling sorry for these people. Stop saying everything is normal & ok. Stop tolerating weird & odd behavior. Degeneracy is ruining all of us!

  33. @Laura: I’m just trying to figure out how these two sentences work together:

    “I wasn’t there and you weren’t there so we don’t know exactly what happened and whether or not anyone had BO, but I believe in innocent until proven guilty.”

    “I think we can all agree AA didn’t handle this properly, even if someone in their party really did smell, which I highly doubt.”

    Therefore, apparently, your belief in “innocent until proven guilty” only applies to the passengers here, and not the airline. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

  34. My 13 cents: It was probably the baby that smelled bad. Maybe he hadn’t been changed because the family was rushing to get to the flight on time?

    Also, it’s possible for parents who are always around a baby to get kind of desensitized to the smell. Maybe the baby smelled a little bit – enough for others to notice, but not the parents.

  35. Many orthodox Jewish men wear religious undergarments beneath their outerwear. If you do not launder them, they will pick up your body odor. Imagine several weeks of continued wear of these tallit, p u.

  36. Another example of why flying, like the Internet, was better before it was democratized and everyone had access to it.

  37. Well done AA! I wish more airlines did that and also my employer. It is easy to play the “discrimination” card but if you stink you become immune to your own body odor and people next to you are holding their breath. Most people will not complaint of a body odor. The fact that several people complained and even the pilot agreed to denying boarding tells that the odor was probably nausiating. This happened to me in a hotel lobby. The BO of a guest was so unbearable that I moved to a different area (enclosed with AC). The person a few minutes later moved to where I was sitting and I had to hold my breath as I grabbed my luggage and left. If you have experienced this you will agree with the airline. I applaud their position and wish more airlines did this.

  38. @ Lucky @ Alpha and other commenters: Certainly well traveled adults have sat next to various people of various religious, skin tones etc who have had some level of body odor. Either on airplanes or elsewhere. The key issues that AA and or the FAA and other authorites should investigate is: does AA have a policy about body odor complaints and what is it? If yes, How many times in the past 1-3 years has it been used as a reason to eject 3 people from a flight? If there is a policy is it applied consistently? And are other options offered such as a providing a first class blanket or suggesting the passenger put on an additional clothing layer? Finally, regarding mr Adler’s questioning the possibility of religious discrimination: he and his wife are clearly dressed in clothing and head covering that identifies them as religious jews. Same as Individuals of other religions sometimes subject to discrimination wear a hijab or a turban. It is understandable for Mr and Mrs Adler to be truly perplexed due to the ambiguous answers they received from AA. If i were them i would also expect a detailed and legally binding report as to how many passengers (if true) complained and which crew complained. I say 50/50 the odor was beyond what AA experiences daily from 1 or more passengers on each flight….and do they kick all passengers off as per policy? Not appropriate or fair for some comentors here to start stating how people of certain religions smell more than others etc. we are all better than this.

  39. I have flown on AA several times when over half the passengers were Jewish. One time the boarding process was halted while a big group of Jewish men started to pray before getting on the flight. I have never seen AA discriminate against these passengers. I am guessing one of these family members had a bad case of poobutt.

    @adi_t There isn’t a law about stink flying, but there are conditions on your ticket from the airline!

  40. @Laura

    Completely agree with your analysis. It is rare to read such objective and well thought out comments here. I wish there were more such people around.

    Where is the inconsistency in Laura’s comments. We don’t know for sure what happened on the plane that caused this incident, but we *do* know how AA handled it. They kicked them off the plane and left them stranded for the night with a baby but without their luggage. BO or not, that is not the way to properly handle this situation.

  41. I have had to sit throught a cross country flight next to someone who did not use deodorant and I was nauseous and felt violated. In a closed airplane too much perfume or no deodorant makes a difference. Yeah, ask people in the airport if you smell…they smile in your face!

  42. “Another example of why flying, like the Internet, was better before it was democratized and everyone had access to it.”

    @Randy you are so right! I know it’s elitist, but I miss the old days when flying was more rarified. It’s become a nightmare now that every Tom, Dick and Harry flies. You didn’t used to hear of such poor behavior way back when…

    BTW, I’m so tired of these controversial articles….cant’ we just stick to miles/points accrual and airline/hotel reviews?

  43. Its the “I’m a victim” bullshit going on now. The airline can care less about your religion. However if you smell bad enough that more than your seatmates can smell you then you need to get booted off the plane

  44. Smokers stink. The smell of tobacco / nicotine on them and their clothes is vile and nauseating. If we complain, will AA kick smokers off flights?


    Or are there different rules for malodorous smokers than a religious minority? Because that is discrimination.

  45. Americans hardly ever complain about minor stuff like BO. Most of the time everybody is trying to get along on the short flight like Miami to Detroit. Since we are all programmed for inertia and tolerance for the crew to act upon complaint they must have been faced with multiple complaints from different passengers and most likely verified the claims. The odor must have been overwhelming for others. AA crew have taken appropriate action and this has nothing to do with religious discrimination.

  46. @KJ: “Where is the inconsistency in Laura’s comments. We don’t know for sure what happened on the plane that caused this incident, but we *do* know how AA handled it. They kicked them off the plane and left them stranded for the night with a baby but without their luggage. BO or not, that is not the way to properly handle this situation.”

    Had you read what I quoted, Laura interjected her opinion in that sentence that she doesn’t believe that body odor was the issue. That’s hardly objective, if you ask me.

  47. For all of those commenters that are saying it is OK to fly with BO I bet you have a filthy house, disgusting car and probably smoke.

  48. @fed up
    while I don’t disagree that it’s disgusting, it’s often not a consideration issue as people with body odor are frequently not aware of it since they are desensitized.

  49. I agree with Laura. If AA was going to remove that family, they should have removed their checked in luggage too. It was horrible to leave their luggage on board after removing the family considering they were traveling with an infant. Besides, isn’t it a safety violation to remove passengers from plane and leave their luggage on board?

  50. Interesting that the ABC 7 crew were not asked if the people they were interviewing had an BO.

    I had a colleague who had a BO. He would consistently ask people if he had BO. Most said no out of politeness. If they said yes he would argue with them (to put it mildly).

    Then he met a girl he was interested, his BO disappeared and they were married.

  51. Next up

    LGBT kicked off due to body odor.
    David Dao kicked off again due to body odor.

    Hygiene is the new race card. LOL.
    USA is sick.

  52. If I had to choose between sitting next to the infant with a (possibly) poopy diaper or the man in the video, then I would undoubtedly opt for the infant.

  53. , i am an employer with a diverse team and stay up to speed on religious observances related to my team. @ Howard, The undershirt with fringes worn by many orthodox Jewish men is called tzitzis not tallis. How unbalanced to imply they rewear dirty clothing. Rest assured most men buy in bulk same as thirts briefs and socks and wash them the All frequently after 1 full days wear . To all: Lets stop the finger-pointing and baseless inferences regarding any groups of people. Should we point out all of the folks who have hyperhydrosis of feet or underarms and may be prone to sweat and have some odor? The bottom line was how this family was poorly treated by AA, no luggage, no car seat, and special dietary consideratons which a regular food voucher wouldnt address. Whether one or more of the the family of 3 had body odor or not, we truly dont know until all of the story has been fact checked and a truthful analysis has been performed. No one likes to be in close contact with strong body odors, but it is all part of the reality of flying coach these days. We need to know the AA or FAA regulations on such matters before speculating. Did one person complain and the situation escalated unnecessarily to include the pilot and crew permitting the passengers to be ejected? We dont know. Friends, corporare america sadly
    Often has a has CYA management style when lower staff takes action in grey areas tonavoid liability. We simply are Not sure the passenger was playing a victim or discrimination card. We dont have reliable verifiable facts yet.
    Could be, or could not be, that the crew escalated too heavily too rapidly in order to not delay the flight or deal more senstively with a special situation. We just dont know. Yes heavy cigarette smell, alcohol smell, heavy perfume, coughing and sneezing without
    Coverering ones mouth/nose, flatulence, garlic and other
    and body odors can all be challenging to us as passengers. If the above bother us, we have the option to ask the flight attendant to switch seats if available. If not The overhead air valves we each control can be cranked full blast and pointed
    Strategically to dissipate odors.
    I am reserving personal judgement about whether this passenger’s
    Alleged body odor was in fact at a level at which nothing short of
    Evicting them from the flight without
    Their luggage as promised would
    Address the issue.
    Should we all begin to rally to request removal of passengers whose babies
    Have stinky diapers? Smell too heavily of alcohol, perfume, et cetera? Seems overly reactionary to me. Not allowing them a 3 min trip to the bathroom to wipe off perfume, change baby diaper, add soap to some wet paper towels and wash their pits? Come on! Lets be realistic!

  54. @Eskimo: “Next up

    LGBT kicked off due to body odor.
    David Dao kicked off again due to body odor.

    Hygiene is the new race card. LOL.
    USA is sick.”

    Says the person using a nickname that is deemed as offensive by many people.

  55. @Justin: “The supervisor’s comment “now you told me for religious reasons you don’t shower, is that what you said?” seems to reflect a clear misunderstanding of Jewish culture and could be construed as anti-Semitic.”

    I don’t feel airlines need to “understand” each and every religion. I take the supervisor’s question as more like the agent was questioning him in disbelief that you are telling me you don’t shower due to your religion? Not anti-Semitic because you don’t “understand” the religious beliefs. When we expect an airline to be knowledgeable about all religions, we have lost our perspective in life.

    The only anti-Semitic person here is the man pulling the religion card where it is unwarranted.

    You stink, you stink. No religious belief gets you off that one.

  56. Ugh…body odor on planes! Please shower and put on clean clothes before heading to the airport (or anywhere else you have human contact outside of your dirty dwelling)
    Thank you.
    Signed: Your Fellow Humans

  57. Not surprising that so many on here – @Ray, @ dan, just to name a few – are so quick to dismiss the perspective of someone clearly in the minority in the United States. And shame on you, @Lucky, for insinuating that an under-represented individual somehow be required to prove discrimination in order for us to take their claim or feelings seriously (“…and at the same time the passengers don’t explain why they think they were discriminated against for being Jewish (like, did someone make an anti-semitic comment, or…?”). When the person being removed is white and assumed Christian, of course folks immediately rush to defend them; when the person being removed is a Person of Color or other non-majority individual (read: not assumed straight, white, Christian), folks rush to defend the airline and the “rights” of other passengers, and to dismiss the experience of the person removed. The bottom line is that anyone who isn’t a straight white Christian in the United States has experienced discrimination – repeatedly – in subtle ways and obvious ways their entire lives. And yet, the dominant culture, in an effort to maintain its dominance and comfort, doesn’t ever want to remember that, doesn’t ever want to consider that, and doesn’t ever want to repair that. Instead, it demands that “others” prove, irrefutably, that discrimination happened. It is not surprising to me that this family – who because of their religion wear outward symbols of their faith – would believe that anti-Semitism had something to do with this. They’ve likely faced discrimination before because of it. But instead of trying to understand that, folks are rushing to dismiss it. That’s white supremacy at work, plain and simple. In America, only white, assumed Christians are allowed to stand their ground (see Covington Catholic students); only white, assumed Christians are allowed to ask for the manager; only white, assumed Christians are allowed to demand we consider them innocent until proven guilty. But when you are a member of a group who has been historically attacked – repeatedly – by the majority, and you complain about it, you are playing your “card.” It happens to women all the time. It happens to People of Color all the time. It happens to immigrants all the time. And it happens to non-Christians all the time. The hubris of white, Christian culture to demand that “others” conform to its standards of dress, behavior, speech, and anything else, is hypocritical and just downright supremacist.

  58. @Ralph4878 you are so off base it isn’t even funny. If any of the named groups in your response cry out about mistreatment, I am happy to support them with some factual base. In this case, the guy simply pulled Antisemitism to get support. He offered no evidence of his claim. He has none. Wearing religious symbols does not grant you a pass in any way, shape, or form. I can support BLM, #MeToo, or any other group as long as there is credible evidence. How many women have come out on #MeToo and cried injustice but found to be a fraud or just angry over a past relationship? How many in any group use the group to support anytime they don’t get what they want? Too many! I still support the groups and blame the individuals.

    FYI: I am not Christian, I am agnostic. I am half white, half Mexican. I belong to numerous organizations in support of the people but have no tolerance for people that use those groups to beg for some level of support when they aren’t deserving.

    Your argument is made of straw about can ask for support in the US. Granted there are many circumstances where none is given due to the color of skin, religion, sexual orientation, etc. but there are many in the country that still view others as humans and treat them as such.

  59. @Ray – you just did exactly what I detailed in my post. I don’t need to know your background or who you support etc.., to see how you showed up in this space – which was to demand what the dominant culture in this country does to marginalized folks: require they prove to the majority that their experience was authentic and real, rather than taking them at their word that it was and being sympathetic to their lived experience, whether you felt it or not. If you truly are an ally to the groups you mentioned, you would understand how messed up that is. The historical ignoring and dismissing of the experiences of those not in the dominant culture is not up for debate – it is truth. That’s why groups like BLM and #MeToo are growing. No one who feels subjugated or discrimination is asking for a pass – they just ask to be treated equitably and equally, and with the same humanity as everyone else. I would also argue that intent and impact are two totally different things, and while the people removing these passengers may not have felt they were doing anything wrong, the impact of their decisions and actions has humiliated a family, who already likely feel targeted for things like this because outwardly, they are different from the dominant culture. This is a common experience for Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and other religious minorities in the United States, as well as People of Color. That’s not playing a card – that’s their reality. If you cannot be sensitive to that – and cannot see how demanding they prove their lived experience is valid is demeaning – you aren’t an ally.

  60. Okay, this seems pretty simple to me. The family’s religious practices forbid or at least restrict bathing. They are free to do so. that’s their 1st Amendment right. However, when their religious practices affect others nearby, especially in a private and not a public setting, then AA can kick them off of the flight. This is’t religious discrimination at all.

    As an aside, where I work we’ve had several children attend school who really smell. Sometimes its a poverty issue, but a few times it has been due to religious issues. We generally have someone in charge like the principal take them aside and politely tell the kid what the issue is, and then they contact the parents, or vice versa. Either way, there are minimum hygiene rules in place at the school that everyone must adhere to, regardless of religious practices. Ever try taking the SAT when the person next to you stinks to high heaven? Ever had to sit next to a real El Stinkeroo for several hours in a confined cabin? Its the same thing.

    In the end, there’s an easy solution to this – BATHE when you’re going to be out in public!

  61. Ray, what a crock! So passengers would not have complained about a smelly, stinking white family? Your analysis reeks of chip on the shoulder, political correctness.

  62. @Francis Bagbey – no chip on my shoulder – I am white and walk through the world with the privilege the dominant culture afford me, unfairly. I just choose to see the humanity in others and remain sensitive to their experiences as they navigate a world that doesn’t respect them the same way it respects the dominant culture. That’s not political correctness – it’s inclusion, sympathy, and equity. Interesting and telling, though, that you used the expression “chip on the shoulder” – dominant culture folks use that expression/trope all the time about People of Color and other under-represented folks in America when they don’t want to sympathize with or understand their experiences across difference: must have a chip on their shoulder! Couldn’t be really what happened! SMH. I have been on plenty of flights where I’ve seen white people acting a fool, drinking too much, being belligerent to crew and fellow passengers, and yes, even smelling foul. And none of them were removed from the flights. Hmmm. But the bottom line here is that this situation could have been handled in a way that respected everyone involved, but instead, the people not of the dominant culture were humiliated so the rest could be kept in comfort. That’s privilege and supremacy at work.

  63. Sorry-still don’t understand your argument.
    These travelers STANK to the point of causing other passengers to complain. They complained, according to Lucky’s description of the event, because of body odor, not for any other reason. Because the stinkers were Jewish, you launched your screed about the evils of the so called dominant culture, white privilege, etc. and oppression of minorities. You probably view everything through the prism of race, class, gender, etc.
    I don’t approve how AA handled this but everything bad that happens to your protected groups is not due to white privilege .

  64. @Frances Bagbey – Indeed, I do see everything through the prism of of race, class, gender, etc.., because our identities impact all the interactions we have with each other and the institutions we as social beings create (government, schools, etc..,). Read some social theory. And please, don’t lecture me about this – the way you have entered this conversation and the language you have used reveals your ignorance on the experience of “protected groups” (which, really, you see People of Color and non-Christians in America has “protected?”).

  65. You are the one lecturing us on THE way we should view this incident. It doesn’t take a course in social theory to understand why passengers near this family complained and why most of those who commented on this story supported their removal even if not how American handled it. Maybe the family’s lawyer will call upon you as an expert in social theory to testify as to the obvious bias of the complaining passengers, the flight attendants, the pilot, and the gate agent, all of whom have been conditioned by the dominant culture (you must really have it in for the white race in America) to react negatively to discriminated groups, in this case a Jewish family. You must be angry about some injustice 24/7. Looking forward to your next riveting reply skewering me for my ignorance.

  66. I do not care what color, race or religion you are if you stink, then you need to be aware this can happen and I applaud American and the supervisor for the way it was handled. If your flying please bathe with soap preferably.

  67. I just flew from Zurich to Newark yesterday with a large amount of Hacedic people and they were awful! There were 2 to our left, 2 in front and 2 behind us not to mention many more scattered through the cabin. The smell was pungent to say the least. I was traveling and awake over 26 hours from Greece to Pittsburgh via Zurich and NJ and I didn’t smell nearly half as bad as they did. The smell is real! Several passengers on our flight complained about the smell as well as their constant moving, standing, conversing all through the aisles of the plane. I had one of their asses in my face for probably a total of 2 hours of the 9 hour flight. I have zero problem with someone else’s religious beliefs but I do take issue to lack of concern for other people’s personal space and poor hygiene!

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