Thursday, November 8, 2018

Stench on a Plane

An Indonesian plane bound for Jakarta from Bengkulu was grounded for an hour on Monday after passengers complained of an overwhelming stench in the cabin. 

It turned out that two tonnes of the world's stinkiest fruit, were in the cargo hold of the Sriwijaya Air flight. 

Passengers created a ruckus and a few of them almost came to blows with crew members – they had demanded that the durians be removed. The airline eventually relented and unloaded the said fruits. 

Sriwajiya Air later said the airline was well within their rights to carry the pungent 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. Many airlines do this", senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya said in a statement to the Jakarta Post. 

And Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV that they had 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". 

The thorny durian is a delicacy in much of Asia but also controversial – you either love it or hate it. Its potent stench means it's banned from public transportation, hotels and even planes in some countries. 

Anies Wardhana, Bengkulu airport chief said that the airport would "evaluate" packing options so that they would "not cause passenger discomfort". 

I too would loudly object if I encounter the same situation. 

I would insist that we be allowed to partake the durians. Smelling it and yet not being able to consume them would be an insufferable deprivation.

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