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Passenger sues United Airlines for racial discrimination

A Chinese American passenger is suing United Airlines for allegations of racial discrimination following a lunch box incident on a flight to San Diego last June. Yubo Miao is seeking $100,000 in damages, claiming that he was unfairly treated and falsely accused of physical altercations that led to his temporary ban from flying with the airline.

According to PYOK, Miao’s complaint claims that he had complied with the airline’s carry-on policy and initially placed his lunchbox in the overhead compartment. He says a flight attendant yelled at him to put the lunchbox under the seat in front of him, in response, Miao placed the item on the seat next to him, saying that he will place it on the ground when the other passenger arrives. 

The flight attendant allegedly threatened to inform the Captain if the lunchbox was not immediately placed on the floor, so Miao complied. Then, the complaint says a United supervisor ordered Miao to leave the plane, saying that the flight attendant claimed he hit her. 

BNN reported that Miao was banned from flying with the airline while its “Passenger Incident Review Committee” conducted a review. A decision arrived claiming that Miao did make “unwanted physical contact” with the flight attendant, but rescinded the ban. 

“It is clear that United intended to discriminate against Miao on the basis of his race and national origin as other non-Asian passengers were not treated in a similar manner or were removed from the flight despite having similar bags that the United flight attendant took issue with,” the lawsuit alleges.

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