Passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo

Andrew Cummings
November 8, 2018

The Sriwijaya Air plane was delayed for an hour at Bengkulu, south west of Sumatra, when passengers complained of the fruit's overpowering smell.

The situation inside the cabin reportedly became so bad that passengers and crew nearly came "to blows", according to The Jakarta Post, citing a report from an Antara news reporter who was on the flight.

A cargo of durian caused an Indonesian plane to be temporarily grounded after passengers complained about the fruit's room-clearing stench in the cabin. According to The Star, it was actually due to complaints from passengers about the stink in the cabin, which turns out to be from dozens of sacks of durian. In April, 600 people were evacuated from the library of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - and crews were dispatched to check for gas leaks - after a rotting durian was left inside a cupboard.

Passengers on the flight demanded the fruit be unloaded before the plane took off due to the bad stench.

The durian is known for being one of the grossest-smelling fruits in the world-think "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock", as one food writer has described it, per Smithsonian.

The thorny durian is a delicacy in much of Asia but also controversial - you either love it or hate it. "Many airlines do this", Sriwijaya Air senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya said in a statement to the Post on Tuesday.

"When I entered the plane, I could already smell the scent of durian".

The standoff ended when boarded passengers began to get off the flight.

Staff finally unloaded the fruit and the plane took off an hour later, reaching Jakarta safely.

The airline eventually gave in and unloaded the fragrant cargo.

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

'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.

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