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Nigerian Woman & her Children kicked off United flight after White Man complained she was “Pungent”



Nigerian Woman & her Children kicked off United flight after White Man complained she was "Pungent" | BellaNaijaQueen Obioma was on a journey, taking her 2 children to school in Canada, when she was kicked off a flight after a white man complained she was “pungent.”

According to the Washington Post, the family boarding a flight 2 years ago from Houston to San Francisco, the second leg of their flight which started from Lagos and still had another to go, when the incident happened.

Obioma had arrived at her assigned seat in the business class cabin when she saw the man already seated there, a lawsuit she has filed against the company said, and the man refused to vacate the seat.

She had been asked to sit elsewhere by a flight crew member, but she again encountered the man when she was returning from the bathroom and he blocked her from getting to her seat.

She had reportedly said “excuse me” 3 times, and eventually had to squeeze past several minutes later after the man refused to move out of the way.

It was after she had sat down that a crew member told her to go outside the aircraft, and another United employee told her she was getting kicked out of the plane.

According to the lawsuit, the pilot had asked that Obioma be removed because the white man said her smell was “pungent.” The lawsuit read:

Ms. Obioma watched her minor children marched out of the aircraft like criminals, confused and perplexed … She sobbed uncontrollably for a long time.

United Airlines has been accused of discriminating against Obioma and her children because they were black.

The company has said it is unable to comment because it is a pending litigation and it has not been served with the lawsuit.


  1. Mrs chidukane

    May 13, 2018 at 2:30 am

    Congrats my sister! God has buttered your bread and sugared your tea! Congratulations!!!!! Don’t forget to join that man for harassment.

    • Author Unknown

      May 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Congratulations? Because it may be pay day if she wins? Don’t stoop so low as to congratulate someone who, if the story is true, has been so publicly humiliated just because of money. Let’s congratulate ourselves when we have a national airline that can proudly fly us from Lagos to Toronto. That would be a middle finger to United and its likes.

    • Fleur

      May 14, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Dear Bella Naijans, I am appalled by your responses. If we follow the sequence of events outlined in the narrative, and assume this narrative to be true, it is not about the odor. First step is that the guy took her seat before she even appeared on the plane. Second step in the storyline is she approached her seat and asked the guy to move, and he refused. If this was an odor issue, why would he take her seat? If she was already seated, then the so-called pungent odor would have deterred him from even wanting to sit close to her. Seems he boarded before her, took her seat, was irked by her asking him to vacate her seat, and decided to concoct a story to get her off the plane. This reeks of an entitled white male wondering why some African woman is sharing the same space with him or it could be that she was bumped unceremoniously by a passenger with connections or one willing to pay a bit more. We have spent the entire real estate on this page talking about odors but ignoring what seems to be an unnerving issue here, which is that someone can decide they want to take what is yours and declare you a public nuisance, and actually succeed at it. We should be worried. It means his rights superseded hers in the eyes of those who decided she needed to board a second plane. The good news is that the airline would have to prove using objective data that she was a public nuisance per odor. I know they cannot prove this. Even places with real odor issues lose court cases all the time. Note that they did not require her to take a shower or douse herself in perfume before boarding the second flight. She was simply by all the facts presented an unwanted guest on that plane, and bumped so that another passenger was given preference. Question is why? What I’d like to know is if the business class area was full and whether there was collusion between airline staff and the man to give him her seat and put her on another plane, and whether when that plan seemed to be going south, they decided to insult the hell out of her and label her pungent. This would be the racist part because they could have claimed she was belligerent instead, and this would have fit since she already had what seems like a minor infraction with the dude on the way back from the toilet. Sigh.

  2. Lilo

    May 13, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Maybe, just maybe this woman handled stockfish and ground crayfish while rearranging her luggage before check-in at the airport in Nigeria? We know that the smell of those ingredients can be lethal. Let me not now add the fact that some Nigerians don’t wear deodorants…Nigerians have a ‘smell’ and if you aren’t Nigerian, you can perceive such smell as pungent

    • nawa

      May 13, 2018 at 6:50 am

      Biko Lilo
      “Nigerians has a smell’ Na which other countries people no get smell .you well at all.
      So because of the so called pungent smell she and children should be sent of the plane

    • Biii

      May 13, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Emacipate yourself from mental slavery!
      Artist had you in mind when he coined that line.

    • Dust

      May 13, 2018 at 7:28 am

      If you had read the article you would have the part it was the “second leg of their flight”.. the air conditioning would removed any “smell” between Lagos and houston, then the AC would have done the same while waiting to board to SF…. the incident happened 2 years ago…

      Bellanaija, if you and other blogs are trying to groom “Nigerians” into self hate then you are on your own… some of us are only “Nigerian” when we have to go beyond borders, within Nigeria we are our ethnic nations first… Any anti-Nigerian comment is targeted at people that see themselves as Nigerians (An european creation)..

    • Anonymous

      May 13, 2018 at 7:38 am

      You are very brainless!!! I live in the uk and I can confirm these white pple stink, especially when seated in a bus with them. How dare you? So let’s assume the woman sprayed stockfish deodorant, does that excuse the man’s behaviour of taking her seat or blocking her way? You ‘re such a bitter soul you lilo, your life is a waste, you shld commit suicide! A woman with kids sent out of a plane over a ridiculous excuse and all u can think of is smell, I pity your family, your father should have used condom on your mother. Your mother shld have aborted you to save us all the stress. Go suck a d**k.

    • Jummy

      May 13, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Annonymous you’re no better than Lilo…

    • EGO

      May 13, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Non-Nigerians stink too; some have really distinct, over-powering and highly revolting odour that could straight up wipe out humanity in one nanosecond! If the story the lady told is exactly the way it happened then she was discriminated against and definitely has a case. Being “allegedly smelly” is not a reason to deplane any individual so as to please another passenger: be them white, green, purple or rainbow coloured.

    • Ada_ugo

      May 13, 2018 at 11:22 am

      @Lilo, shebi in your mind now, you have dropped knowledge?… part of life in a civil society, is learning to cope with the excesses of others. some people will have body odours, some people handled stockfish, some people may shower with garlic body wash, some people refuse to brush their teeth, some people may suck on onion mint, some people are too loud, the list goes on… but part of becoming a member of society is knowing your place, and acknowledging that whilst others’ habits may be less than pleasing to you, you have to learn to be tolerant because they have as much rights as you do.
      I hope this woman cashes in big on this. The next time that man and United see “pungent” in the dictionary, they will strike it out

    • Gbemi

      May 13, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Did you drink codeine this hot afternoon ?

    • Lolarae

      May 13, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      All nationalities have a smell
      All of them

    • Maryanne Theodore

      May 14, 2018 at 12:33 am

      A woman that was on a journey, taking her 2 children to school in Canada, how will she be handling stockfish at the airport? And when you say Nigerians have a smell, I don’t get it, why was it only the man that perceived it?

    • Mrs Mo

      May 14, 2018 at 7:42 am

      So what if she handled stockfish or crayfish? White people who have mouth odour smelling of garlic and the rest nko? Do they throw them off the plane for that? No matter what the person smells like the airline has no right to kick her offf the plane. If it was a black man who did what he did and she was a white Woman he would have been thrown off!!! That was a racist move and should be handled as that!! I will sue the for emotional trauma, physical trauma, disgracing me etc!! Absolute rubbish!!!

    • Uberhaute Looks

      May 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Nigerians have a smell Bawo? Are you for real? It’s obvious you have serious inferiority complex or better still, you are not a Nigerian!
      What an insult! Even everything is all wrong with Nigeria, must you add your own salt to a festering injury?

  3. Nana

    May 13, 2018 at 8:05 am

    As in…those white pple stink ohhhh! Chai..dey nor dey baff eh! D guy obviously has no sense cos I’m sure he smells like a he goat himself. And to kick out a woman and her kids??? Her kids?? Pls my sister take dem for all their coins…all of it #weaveflip#

    • Lilo

      May 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      She ain’t gettin shingbai from the airline. Everything iS not racially motivated. If a flight attendant or any passenger oozes odor that is perceived as uncomfortable by passengers in the cabin, they will be reaccommodated. People with crying babies get reaccommodated all the time. Your headphones are too loud constituting a nuisance to others, you will be reaccommodated …an entire aircraft can’t be inconvenienced for the sake of accommodating one person. It’s been 2 years if there was any wrong doing by the airline the case would have been settled by now. It’s like all the Nigerians Doing nonsense on BA and Airfrance flights thinking everything is a payday lawsuit. Yimu. Queen obioma will be lucky to get a $250 voucher after all her kuru kere

  4. Anon

    May 13, 2018 at 8:27 am

    It could the smell was from her weave or braid. I’ve experienced this ,I couldn’t wait to alight from the car ,I almost through up ,had to beg the driver to putoff the Ac and open d windows for cross ventillation..

    • Abi

      May 13, 2018 at 9:58 am

      You almost ‘through’ up? That’s serious fam, hope you saw a doctor.

    • MsgtB

      May 14, 2018 at 1:31 am

      Folks with different diets have distinct odors. South Koreans do, Kenyans do, Panamanians do, Saudi Arabians, Kuwaities, Turks, every time I’ve dealt with folks from different cultures I’ve smelled that difference. Depending on the diet it can range from just different to gag me with a spoon! And yes, my diet must confer a certain odor on me, but we are used to our own cultural aroma.
      Should they have been deplaned? Probably not. Not given all the evidence. Very one sided description of events, which makes one automatically sympathetic to the woman in question. Lawsuits aren’t always the answer, but sometimes they are needed to force a change. NOT to enrich someone. The goal should be policy changes in the airline.

  5. Spunky

    May 13, 2018 at 8:53 am

    You almost “through” up? ???

    • Anon

      May 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

      “threw” idiaaaat

  6. Sandy

    May 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

    I experience this pungent smell on every flight home to Nigeria. It’s embarrassing when the leg to Lagos is the only time the spray air freshener before take-off. Honestly, our people can do much better. I don’t know what the excuse would be, my flight was coming from the UK. There’s no excuse for smelling badly like that! Period! Hygiene is often neglected my airplane passengers. It’s torture.

  7. Kwin

    May 13, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Hahaha. Chai Anon!

  8. Truth

    May 13, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Everyone know worst body odour in Africa comes from Nigerians

    It’s a known fact

    Be honest with your self

    • Anonymous

      May 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      How did you come up with this conclusion? Did you carry out any research on body odour and human smell? Or you are just talking based on your level of illiteracy. In as much as body odour is not pleasant, when did it become a crime that would warrant being thrown out of a plane with kids. By the way, read what you wrote again! Ignorant d**k

    • Lilo

      May 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Don’t mind them. They are deeply triggered cos I hit some raw nerves. Some Nigerians are deep stinking mofos. Take that heat join with poor ventilation in their homes and the simple fact that deodorant is not mainstream for the average Nigerian. Some of their women can carry braids for 6 months without spraying dry shampoo on the thing. Now imagine sitting on. Flight next to some of them??Go to southwest area of Houston TX …some Nigerians will make you puke in your mouth. Nasty people sometimes I wish ICE will just raid farmers market and finger licking restaurant to round them up and ship them back to MM2. All of you are getting mad as if only people on the island are given visa to travel abroad. Wait until you see someone on a Delta flight to Atlanta who tells you that they be never been to Lagos before and never left Effuru until now…

    • Mama

      May 13, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      Chief body odour detector of Africa! I’m guessing you went round the continent sniffing people and came to this conclusion thereafter. I always say this: the nerve some of you non Nigerians have to air your delusional stereotypes about Nigerians on this blog, I don’t know where you get the courage from. Or maybe i do; you read comments such as Lilo’s and take that as license to add your useless two cents. If you had even a minuscule of sense, you would know that body odour in not a national trait. Now run along to blogs in your body odourless country since you don’t know how to behave in another man’s territory.

    • Lisa O.

      May 13, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      That’s not true… I am sure you haven’t lived with Ghanaians..Mouth and body odour combined!

    • Lilo

      May 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      @lisa O yeah my Ashanti folks and mouth aroma ba die. I was talking to one Kwame abi na Kwenku like that you’d think they killed iru, ogiri, crayfish and stockfish from his buccal cavity. I was like ko le werk ?

    • Mama

      May 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      BN, let me get this straight: so you guys can post this offensive comment written by Truth aka Liar about all of us Nigerians, but you refuse to post my response to him/her after many hours. Is your priority not misplaced?

    • Razz N Bougie

      May 13, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      @truth, I guess your favourite pastime is sniffing bushy armpits and hairy bums of people from different races so as to ascertain what group has the worst smell?

    • ddon

      May 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      First of all , everyone has a body odor, it is every being on earth recognizes its offspring, mates, and family, in some societies, they choose to cover this odor with cologne, perfume, deodorant, etc, but in other culture they choose to go natural (cowboys bathed seldom if ever unless they got rained on), oh and what about cave men what cologne did they use, ask yourself where would you fit in if cologne, perfume , or deodorant was not available to you, do you think that tracking animals track the scent of your cologne, sometimes its just good to think before you speak or act.

  9. Tim Jones

    May 13, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    The truth is that people stink especially after a long journey but that is still not valid reason to throw this woman and her kids out of the plane. she needs to be compensated since buying the ticket is a contract between her and the airline .Word of advice for Nigerians.When traveling long distances with several connections;have wet wipes readily available for body hygiene between stops.

  10. Baybie

    May 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    It seems the only thing United is good at these days is building a bad rep for themselves. Thank goodness there are other airlines available, I really hope the woman gets compensated, I can imagine the horror her kids had to go through. United, you are cancelled.

  11. slice

    May 13, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    There’s nothing in this article that said the flight attendant came and smelled the woman herself. It seems they just went off the word of the passenger. If she was smelling that badly, it should have been the place of the new people she sat next to to complain, not the place she left already. If it really was bad enough for him to still smell, then other passengers should be complaining too. If it was odor from not using deodorant then sit her next to her two kids and no one sits with her. Or was United doing this to pacify a rich customer sitting in business class with her.

    Nigerians don’t smell. Just like oyibo people don’t smell of no showers or too much beer and Indians don’t smell of curry etc. Sometimes somepeople from any place smell because of bad hygiene or because they don’t understand something they ate is still on the breathe or oozing through their pores

  12. Fyfi Salty

    May 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I can imagine the frustration to meet someone else seated in your assigned seat. The thought of the man refusing to vacant the seat and then, you are offered a seat elsewhere would make anyone go crazy. Infact your anger level would go from 0-100

    At the point she was offered an alternative seat,she should’ve refused it calmly and politely demand to speak to someone at the top. Classy is the key word…

    Dear Nigerians, garagara in 9ja don’t work in obodoyinbo. There are two aisles to the rest the point you said excuse me & he refused. I would’ve turned back and use the other aisle to my seat but knowing my 9ja people we no dey gree…If you squeeze and pass, ma’am you looked for trouble first knowing that this man is a mental case – the more reason why you should’ve avoided him.

    S/He who is calm & collective gains a lot of respect than S/He who thinks vexation would solve the problem hence she was kicked off the plane. Anger na bastard…It’s not worth it honestly. I hope it serves as a learning curve to all…Good luck with your law case.

    • slice

      May 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      There’s always someone to blame the victim..shame in you. You’re twisting yourself to make this silly case against her

    • Fyfi Salty

      May 13, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      @Slice: I usually DO NOT reply to internet trolls. I stay in Houston so I know my 9ja people wella….My narrative is exactly what I believed happened not because he complained about the lady’s smell….Moreso, she lives overseas & not a JJC….If you act aggressively, you would get kicked off!!! period! I am not saying she did but her anger led to other decisions she took after the initial altercation hence she ended up crying….I wish her all the best with her court case.

    • Fyfi Salty

      May 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      *Moreso, she doesn’t live here or maybe a JJC in international travelling…**

  13. Yakubu Sankey

    May 13, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    The poor treatment we get outside our shores in the quest for education or health only amplifies why we need first class facilities in these services in our country. We cannot continue to take such shabby treatment for all time because it will definitely continue and get worse as the likes of Trump accede to leadership in America and Europe. Our leaders should not only be held to account for past failures in these services but also for the immediate and urgent development of education and health sectors.

  14. Author Unknown

    May 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    A smell so pungent that only one passenger perceived it, and managed to get the “culprit” thrown off the flight? Was this a no ordinary passenger, or is there more to this story that sounds too silly to be true?

  15. AmericanWonder

    May 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    On the 2nd leg of my return journey to London, I had the 3 window seats all to my self, then half way in, some very pungent smelling man (naij) came & sat by me, it wasn’t his seat. I kicked a fuss, because he smelt revolting, I told him he smelt bad and should go back to his assigned seat, he no gree, I complain tiya, the hostesses said they are unable to move him bcos passengers can sit anywhere since it wasn’t full board. I went looking for seat but there were only middle seats available so i went back to my and spent the rest of the journey spraying my deodrant can at him. I didn’t care if he was offended because his smell was too offensive. when they served food, i carried it to the back and ate where the hostesess were because I just couldn’t eat with that smell,

    • Smh

      May 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      From this epistle you’ve typed here, I’m sorry to say but you appear to lack manners. Even if someone*stinks* you can convey your disapproval without being rude. You should as well not have eaten at all nah.

    • AmericanWonder

      May 13, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      @smh – I don’t care hon, no need to be sorry. He stank to high heaven. If you smell bad, I’m gonna tell you. If he didn’t like the deodorant he coulda gone back to his assigned seat instead of polluting my air. I’m sure they chased them from where he was before

    • Grace

      May 13, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      @AmericanWonder. You had every right to kick a fuss. He was smelling and it was a pungent smell.

      You have already reacted the way you did and that can’t be taken back but please next time try to be more graceful, Try looking at it from a more personal view, if you saw a similar thing done to someone very dear to you, how would you feel? You had the right to react as you did but its best to be more graceful.

      I wish you all the best.

    • slice

      May 13, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      If the smell was that bad, you should have taken another seat and moved on with your life. If you stay him and he hits you, now what

    • Author Unknown

      May 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      @ AmericanWonder. Based on the airline’s rules, you chose to be tortured over peacefully reselecting a middle seat, though not your first choice. It appears from your response to Smh that you appear unrepentant for your actions. Next time you’re faced with a similar situation, with a non-Nigerian, preferably in America, and the passenger is just as smelly, go ahead and spray them as you did this guy. You will see American Wonder. Criminal record awaits you, but I pray you learn before you land yourself in hot water.

    • AmericanWonder

      May 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      @author unknown & others
      A bit of exaggeration on my part – I sprayed upwards and the surrounds not directly at him but still. I remain unapologetic. And I often do so on the tube/bus when there’s a smelly person nearby & I can’t move, if they want let them fight me.

  16. habeshawit

    May 13, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    My thing is, I highly doubt the white dude was referring to the direct meaning of “pungent”. This is just racism in disguise.

  17. Ezekiel Dogara

    May 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Why didn’t she take her bath

  18. Lolarae

    May 13, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    All country people have theirs smell
    Have you been around Indians ? Lool
    Have you been around Chinese ?
    British people stink too especially their mouth

  19. John

    May 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I like this @lilo chick sha.

    Her comments turn me on

    She is damn right.

  20. Engoz

    May 14, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Kinda sadistically happy this happened to a Nigerian, cos you Nigerians can’t wait to show your illiteracy about racist behavior. Now, y’all wanna kill Lilo, lmao. I see no reason why the pale dude intrudes in her space twice. It doesn’t make sense and should have been thrown off as well for aggressive behavior. Complaining of a stench is not racist, it’s his aggressive behavior that is utterly racist. If you have a problem with smell or anything on the plane, as a decent, well brought up human being, you will report to the flight attendants and let them deal with it. On the other hand. everybody stinks, (used to work as a cashier during my student days, and many White people killed me with their terrible stench, you know the vomit inducing type- I think it’s sweat mixed with soured milk, cigarettes and fish ) but it is only Nigerians I’ve heard adamantly proclaim how they refrain from using deodorants citing very silly, logic-defeating reasons. Very wrong and strong people. If you are that type, you had better change and stop giving Nigerians a bad name. You think you don’t smell, but you absolutely do.

  21. Ady

    May 14, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I flew from Addis Ababa to Beijing with a plane filled with Asians, the smell, the unending spitting and grouchy sounds they made, I pulled through even though I wanted to throw each and everyone of them through the window, I couldn’t use the rest room as I found poo everywhere littered on the toilet seat, a 10.5 hour flight for that matter, that guy is racist!!! Pungent smell my ass, I can hardly tolerate white people around me but I respect them without putting up a show, every race has a right to smell the way they should smell pls.

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