Should Passengers Be Removed From a Plane Due to Body Odour?

September 19, 2023
smelly passengers

A devastated family has spoken out after they were booted off their plane due to passenger complaints of bad body odour. Yossi and Jennie Adler were flying alongside their 19-month-old daughter on an American Airlines flight from Miami International Airport but their spot on the flight was surrendered due to their smell. This got us thinking …. do you think passengers should be booted off a flight because of their body odour?

Firstly we should ask if it’s even legal to do this. It turns out is is, with most airlines have a section hidden deep within their ‘conditions of carriage’.. For those wondering what a ‘condition of carriage’ is, it’s the five page document attached to any ticket that lets be honest, no one actually reads.

American Airlines, one of the major carriers in the USA states, ‘The airline reserves the right to refuse transport of a passenger, or have them removed from their flight at any point if they have an offensive odour not caused by a disability or illness’.

The rule is written into American Airlines’ conditions of carriage, right next to other undesirable behaviours such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, being armed with a dangerous weapon, and being violent or abusive.

The family at the centre of this ‘odour fuelled’ argument claim to have bathed that morning but really that is irrelevant.


Studies have proven that arriving to and getting through the airport on time is among one of the most stressful ‘day to day’ tasks one can endure. There’s traffic on the way there, the struggles to find your boarding pass through all your bags and that’s before you even get to the dreaded line in security when you have to literally get undressed and redressed. If you’re travelling on a low cost carrier you’re probably wearing most of your clothes anyway making this task even more stressful.

The point here is that getting to your flight more often than not will induce a sweat. Whether you want to call it a panic sweat, running around sweat or a nervous sweat, it’s still a sweat and in times of stress even the best can of Rexona wont mask that smell.

So I think we can all agree that we will probably all arrive at the actual seat on our flight a little less fresh than when we left the house. Ultimately there has to be a threshold especially on long haul flights where passengers should not be allowed to fly like that for the respect to other passengers and crew.

Ones sweat and smell is not the responsibility of other passengers or the airline. Perhaps cases like that of the Adler family can remind passengers to bring some wet wipes or extra deodorant for a refresh before boarding the plane if they know they are someone that may succumb to the ‘airport stress sweat’.

What do you think? Should passengers should be booted off a flight because of their body odour? Share your thoughts with us below.

Suggested Read: NZ couple demand refund after sitting next to a dog on a plane


  1. Absolutely - I have travelled extensively and unfortunately have been in a similar situation. People are capable of grooming themselves properly, which includes proper hygiene/cleanliness and when travelling in such close proximity to others they should ensure that they are not creating a situation that is not only extremely unpleasant but quite rude to their fellow travellers. Body odour can be worse in some people than others but all are capable of managing this with the proper care/products. I am well aware in this 'Woke' society people are entitled to their opinions which also include the use of Deodorants etc, but only to the point where they do not effect others who would be forced to put up with their condition....