Passengers create stink over pungent planeload of durian

Daniel Fowler
November 8, 2018

Travelers aboard a Sriwajiya Air flight from Bengkulu, in Indonesia, to Jakarta complained of the odor prior to takeoff, insisting that the airline remove the spiky, smelly fruit - of which there was almost 4,500 pounds in the cargo hold - from the flight, per The Straits Times.

According to the Jakarta Post, Boyke Ledy Watra, a reporter for Antara, happened to be there and said passengers were on the brink of dishing out physical blows as they clashed with cabin crew.

"Food writer Richard Sterling has written 'its odor is best described as ... turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock'".

Passengers on an Indonesian airplane almost came to fisticuffs with the flight crew on Monday because they could smell the stench of two tons durian in the cargo area.

In April, the smell of durian rotting in a cupboard at an Australian university's library was mistaken for a gas leak, the Associated Press reported.

In their arguments for the fruit's removal, some passengers referred to the crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in 2005 which failed to take off and killed 149 people.

Passengers then left the aircraft, refusing to fly unless the fruit was removed.

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Passengers refused to board the plane and complained to staff about the fruit's strong smell.

"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV late Tuesday.

A flight was delayed for an hour after irate passengers complained about a disgusting smell filling the plane cabin.

"It's normal for every airline to carry durian during a flight as long as it is packaged properly and put inside the cargo hold in accordance with the standards and procedures", Kyodo News quoted Maya as saying in a statement.

Amir Zidane uploaded the clip to Facebook after the incident which took place on Monday.

Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian.

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