On October 30, Soy Seng, head monk for the Cambodian Buddhist Society of Wisconsin, left his small Khmer community for Cambodia to raise funds for a new school, never suspecting that American Airlines would make a stink about his trip. As Bill Lueders reports in the Madison, Wisconsin, alt-weekly, Isthmus, before Seng’s connection could leave for Los Angeles, an American Airlines employee asked him to return to the terminal. The reason? Seng says he was told that a passenger complained about his unpleasant odor.
The airline put up Seng for the night in a hotel, gave him $15 to cover two meals, and allowed him to fly out the next day. By then, Seng had missed his connection to Cambodia and had to spend the night in the Los Angeles airport. Leuder writes that American Airlines did not respond to repeated requests for information.