On her way back to her seat, the same passenger was standing in the aisle and blocking her from getting to her seat, the lawsuit says.
Obioma said the passenger, a white man, refused to move from her seat. After several minutes, she finally made her way past him and sat down.
The lawsuit, which is seeking punitive damages and attorney's fees, alleges that Obioma was intentionally discriminated against because of her race and that she and her children were denied equal rights by the airline.
A Nigerian woman was allegedly kicked off a flight at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport after a passenger complained that she had a "pungent" odor.
The family had flown from Lagos, Nigeria, and were on the second leg of a three-flight trip to Canada. When a flight attendant got involved, Obioma ended up agreeing to take the other passenger's assigned seat, the Houston Chronicle reported. She said "excuse me" three times but the man didn't move.
Despite Obioma's attempts to explain that she was taking her children to Canada to attend school and that they had appointments there that they could not miss, airline workers refused to let her family back on the plane. The mother then alleges that a United staffer, identified as Russel H., instructed her to step off the plane, where she was informed by another United agent that the pilot requested that she exit as the man causing trouble complained that she was "pungent" and did not feel comfortable flying with her.
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According to complaint filed by Obioma's lawyer in Houston, "At that point Ms. Obioma was lost, confused and disoriented".
"Ms. Obioma watched her minor children marched out of the aircraft like criminals, confused and perplexed. Her mind went blank and she was utterly befuddled", according to the complaint. An ordinary flyer member of United's Star Alliance app, Obioma says the airline discriminated against her, because she is black, African and literary. Due to the delay, Obioma and her kids missed previously scheduled appointments and extended her stay, incurring additional expenses.
"Continue. Get my good side", replied Lolade Siyonbola who also gave responding police officers a headache while they tried to verify her identity. Both she and a flight attendant asked the man to get up, before Obioma chose to sit in 4J instead of 4K.
As she was putting her carry-on luggage away, Obiama noticed the man head to the cockpit, where he spoke with the pilot.
United said in a statement that it could not comment on the incident because they have not yet been served the lawsuit and because of pending litigation.