Passengers create stink over pungent planeload of durian

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 7, 2018

Passengers disembarked the Sriwijaya Air flight, bound for Jakarta from Bengkulu on Sumatra Island, after complaining that the odour in the cabin would make flying unbearable.

South-east Asia's most divisive fruit managed to ground a plane earlier this week, when passengers refused to fly with two tonnes of it in the cargo hold.

Durian is the stinkiest fruit in the world - and three tonnes of it were due to be transported on Sriwijaya Air aircraft.

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.

Eventually, all the passengers were asked to leave the plane as workers unloaded the reeking cargo.

He added that they placed coffee powder and pandan leaves - sweet-smelling leaves that are widely used to flavor desserts in Southeast Asia - on the plane "to absorb the durian smell".

Following the incident, Sriwajiya Air said the airline was within its rights to carry the fruit in cargo.

'It's not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations - carried inside the hold, ' Mr Maya said.

Passenger Amir Zidane said, in a Facebook post, that he had flagged the issue with a member of the cabin crew.

"Many airlines do this", it told the Jakarta Post.

The spiky looking, popular Asian fruit has many supporters considering it the "king of fruits" but plenty of haters as well who describe its smell as dirty socks and vomit.

Zidane wrote that when he complained to a flight attendant about the stink and the heat on the plane she handed him a piece of paper and told him to put his complaint in writing. "They all chanted back 'not us!'".

The head of Bengkulu airport, Anies Wardhana told local news outlet Detik the airport would "evaluate" future packing situations so that they would "not cause passenger discomfort".

Durian's stench is so pungent it's banned from public transportation, hotels and even planes in certain countries.

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