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By David K. Li
American Airlines expelled a Michigan family from a plane in Florida on Wednesday night for what the airline said were other pbadengers' complaints about its body odor.
Yossi Adler, his wife Jennie and their 19-month-old daughter were sitting on a flight from Miami to Detroit when the ground crew asked them to get 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:" Sorry, I need to get home, I do not have body odor ".
The family, in Florida on vacation, returned to Detroit on Thursday and the airline backed their decision.
"The Adler family was asked to get off the plane last night after several pbadengers, along with our crew members, complained about their body odor," American Airlines said in a statement. "The family was provided with lodging and meals at the hotel and booked on a flight to Detroit today."
Yossi Adler – a 36-year-old business consultant from Southfield, Michigan – He accused the airline of pointing out his family because they are Jews. He used his cell phone to record his discussion with the ground crew shortly after they were taken off the plane.
"There's a religious reason for some reason why they're throwing me off the plane, we do not have any smell, okay, nobody here smells," Adler is heard to say in the video he shot.
Moments later, a member of the ground crew asked: "Now they told me for religious reasons that they do not bathe, is that what they said?"
Adler replied, "No, I did not, I shower every day, I said you threw me out for religious reasons."
American Airlines insisted that body odor, not religion, was behind the actions of Wednesday night.
At his home in Detroit on Thursday, Alder insists he did not smell on Wednesday night and that he and his wife bathe first thing each morning.
"And they still have not said which one of us said I had body odor, was it me, my wife, my baby?" he said.
Meanwhile, the University of Houston defended an engineering professor on Thursday who urged students, especially those in India and Southeast Asia, to be aware of problems with body odor.
The message was sent to graduate engineering students, KPRC, an affiliate of NBC, reported.
"The people of India use many spices and people from other Southeast Asian countries use a lot of garlic, which has many health benefits," according to a message. "However, there is a problem, body odor due to the consumption of these foods becomes strong."
The school said that the message was sent in 2017 and that no disciplinary action was taken against the teacher.
"Personal hygiene is a sensitive issue and all cultures have accepted standards," the university said in a statement to NBC News on Thursday. "The message posted by a teacher for graduate students was shared with good intentions and was intended to help any student avoid a potentially embarrbading or uncomfortable situation by informing them about the hygiene practices that prevail in the US."
"As the second most diverse public research institution in the country, we are committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment for the UH community to live and learn."
David K. Li
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Jay Blackman contributed