Economy

Passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo

Passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo”

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.

A journalist from the Indonesia news agency Antara said arguments between some passengers and flight attendants nearly ended up in physical blows, according to the ABC.

Eventually, all passengers came off the plane, refusing to come back in until the crew removed all durian fruit from the cargo holds.

An Indonesian plane was temporarily grounded after passengers complained about an overwhelming smell of durian in the cabin.

For those not in the know about the fruit's smell, food writer Richard Sterling once wrote, "its odor is best described as...turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

In April, the stench of rotting durian in a library at Melbourne's RMIT University led to a mass evacuation.

Sriwijaya Air eventually chose to unload the sacks of durian from the flight, causing them to depart at 11.40am, an hour later than scheduled.

After passengers who had already boarded the plane chose to get off, the staff made a decision to acquiesce and unloaded the fruit, a process that delayed the flight by an hour but it landed safely in Jakarta.

Durian is considered a delicacy in many parts of Asia but it attracts a lot of negative attention thanks to its "raw sewage"-like 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.

The standoff ended when boarded passengers began to get off the flight. His Facebook post about the incident has been shard more than 20,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

Sriwijaya spokeswoman Retri Maya said the durian had been properly loaded into the plane.



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