Airline passengers create stink over durian cargo, Latest World News

Indonesian Plane Delayed For An Hour Over Freight Of Stinky Fruit

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 with the local Antara news agency reported that several passengers began arguing with flight attendants and nearly came to physical blows, said Australia's ABC news.

A cargo of pungent durian led an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour after passengers turned their noses up and refused to fly.

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.

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In April, the smell of durian rotting in a cupboard at an Australian university's library was mistaken for a gas leak, the Associated Press reported.

The Indonesia flight was due to travel between Sumatra and Jakarta on Monday morning, when travellers realised (by catching a whiff of it) they'd be journeying in the company of crates full of durian fruit.

The thorny durian is a delicacy in much of Asia but also controversial - you either love it or hate it.

Food writer Richard Sterling has described its odor as "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

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

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

Passengers began boycotting the captain's orders and started getting off the plane, refusing to fly with the offensive fruit in tow.

Footage uploaded to Facebook by a passenger showed that the airport crew eventually removed two tonnes of durian in the cargo hold. "Many airlines do this", Retri Maya, senior corporate communications manager for Sriwijaya Airlines told the Jakarta post in a press statement.

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