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Parisian kicked off flight 'because he smelled'

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Parisian kicked off flight 'because he smelled'
A passenger was reportedly forced off an American Airlines plane because he smelled. Photo: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr
08:00 CEST+02:00
An investigation is underway to see whether American Airlines may be guilty of discrimination after a passenger from Paris claims he was forced off a plane because he smelled. The airline denies the allegation.

A 27-year-old man from Paris was thrown off a plane at Charles-de-Gaulle airport because he smelled bad, the victim has claimed.

The man was asked to leave a Dallas-bound flight from Paris before take-off after several passengers complained about his body odour, AFP reports.

The victim has lodged a complaint with American Airlines on the grounds of discrimination and an investigation has been launched.

When contacted by AFP, the airline said it would not make any comment about its passengers but suggested there had been a problem with the passenger's visa.

A source close to the investigation told AFP the passenger “was not particularly scruffy or drunk”.

According to reports, the passenger tried to go to the toilet before take-off but was asked by an air steward to leave the plane, because of his odour.

The incident was reportedly captured on a video which was seen by AFP.

“The crew and the passengers have complained about your smell,” a member of staff says.

“You’re with an American company, this is American territory, the captain has the right to refuse you. You will not be flying today,” a member of the cabin crew tells the victim, adding that it was not the first time this kind of situation has arisen.

AFP reports that the man was then told to “take a shower”.  

Family kicked out of famous Paris museum for 'smelling bad'

In the end the cabin crew called police to forcibly remove the passenger but officers refused, saying he was not a danger to security. In the end he was persuaded to leave the plane voluntarily so he could lodge a complaint.

The victim, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, believes the allegations of bad smell were just a “pretext”.

“I covered myself with Dior perfume at the duty free shop,” he told AFP.

He also said the incident had "completely changed his view of America", a country he had "dreamed" of visiting.

An American Airlines spokesman told The Local he was aware of the man’s allegations, but denied smell was the reason he was forced off the flight.

Spokesman Ian Bradley said: “Basically it was a visa issue" that was only noticed once the passenger was on the plane.

The spokesman said the airline does not discuss individual passengers.

However, if the airline took any action against the passenger due to his smell, it technically appears to have had the right to do so.

American Airlines' terms and conditions for passengers state the company can refuse to transport a passenger if, among other things, they are interfering with the crew, barefooted, or “have an offensive odour not caused by a disability or illness”.

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