An Indonesia flight, which ended up stinking to high heaven because it carried two tonnes of what has been branded the worlds smelliest fruit, was delayed as passengers refused to travel with the odorous cargo.
A Sriwijaya Air flight departing from Bengkulu, Sumatra, and bound for the capital Jakarta was delayed for a whole hour after passengers refused to take off if the rank fruit had to travel with them in the passenger cabin.
Passenger Amir Zidane said, in a Facebook post, that he had flagged the issue with a member of the cabin crew. But rather than taking action, they merely handed him a sheet of paper to file a complaint.
The issue was then referred to an officer, who discussed with the pilot what to do.
But Zidane said that despite the complaints, the pilot had decided the fruit – the smell of which some find nauseating – would remain stored in the cabin during the flight.
It was at that point that Zidane turned to his fellow passengers and asked who wanted to fly with such a smell.They all shouted back: “Not us!”
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.
As they protested for the removal of what is considered by some a delicacy, and by others a cheese-smelling fruit, passengers reportedly referred to a 2005 crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in Medan, which killed 149 people. A 2.7-tonne load of durian was initially thought to be the reason for the horrific crash.
Staff eventually caved into pressure and allowed for the fruit to be transferred to the cargo hold.
Zidanes post includes footage showing the cargo being transferred to the hold. It caused the plane to depart with a one hour delay.
The airline nonetheless justified its decision to transport the fruit saying: “Its not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations—carried inside the hold,” senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya said in a statement on Tuesday. “Many airlines do this,” she added.
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