American Airlines Workers On Leave After Kicking Black Passengers Off Flight Over Body Odor Complaint

(NEW YORK POST) – American Airlines has placed several employees on leave after the company was sued by three black New Yorkers who were kicked off a JFK-bound flight over a body odor complaint.

American CEO Robert Isom announced the disciplinary action this week in a note to staff in which he also denounced the troubling incident that transpired on a January flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“I am incredibly disappointed by what happened on that flight and the breakdown of our procedures,” Isom said in the note.

“It contradicts our values … We fell short of our commitments and failed our customers in this incident.”

It’s unclear how many of the American Airlines workers involved in the fiasco were placed on leave.

“We are holding those involved accountable, including removing team members from service,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement.

Eight black men were ordered off the plane on Jan. 5 after a white male flight attendant allegedly complained of an offensive body odor, according to the lawsuit filed against American by three of the passengers.

The trio from New York — Xavier Veal, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Alvin Jackson — claim in the suit they suffered “blatant and egregious race discrimination” at the hands of the airline’s staff.

The men were complete strangers and sitting separately when they and the five other black passengers were singled out, according to the suit.

Video of the incident showed the men suggesting they were targeted because of their race — a notion one of the American Airlines employees verbally agreed with, a shocking video shows.

They were ushered off the plane, but after being unable to find another flight, ordered to reboard, a tedious and frustrating ordeal that caused the plane to be delayed about an hour, according to the lawsuit filed last month.

American is also forming an advisory group to focus on the experience of black customers to promote the reporting of discrimination allegations, and to improve diversity training to “focus on real-world situations to help recognize and address bias and discrimination,” according to Isom’s letter.

The incident is not the first time American Airlines has faced discrimination allegations.

In 2017, the NAACP warned black travelers to avoid the airline, citing multiple instances of alleged discrimination, the lawsuit explained.

American promised to make changes, and the NAACP lifted the advisory nearly nine months later.

Isom claims to have consulted with the civil rights organization about the company’s next steps.