American Airlines kicked a Michigan family off a plane in Florida Wednesday night over what the airline said was complaints from other passengers about their body odor.
According to NBC News Yossi Adler, wife Jennie Adler, and their 19-month-old daughter were seated on their Miami-to-Detroit flight when ground crew asked then 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.'”
The family, in Florida for a vacation, made it back to Detroit on Thursday and the airline stood behind its decision.
“The Adler family were asked to deplane last night after several passengers, along with our crew members, complained about their body odor,” American Airlines said in a statement. “The family were provided hotel accommodations and meals, and re-booked on a flight to Detroit today.”
Yossi Adler — a 36-year-old business consultant from Southfield, Michigan — accused the airline of singling out his family because they’re Jewish. 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.”
American Airlines insisted that body odor, not religion, was behind Wednesday night’s actions.
“And they still haven’t said which one of us they said had body odor. Was it me, my wife, my baby?” he said.
Meanwhile, the University of Houston on Thursday defended an engineering professor who urged students — especially those from India and southeast Asia — to be aware of body odor issues.