World's stinkiest fruit strikes again, cargo of durian grounds plane

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 7, 2018

The BBC reports a Sriwijaya Air flight destined Monday for Bengkulu out of Jakarta was grounded for an extra hour after passengers nearly got physical with crew members after boarding the plane and wrinkling their noses at the stench of the durian in the cargo hold.

Passengers of the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ091 flying from the Bengkulu province in Sumatra to Jakarta on Monday complained to staff about smelling the notorious fruit and refused to get on the plane unless it was removed from 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".

A journalist from the Indonesia news agency Antara said arguments between some passengers and flight attendants nearly ended up in physical blows, according to the ABC.

Sriwijaya Air later insisted that it was not illegal to transport durian "as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations - carried inside the hold".

The flight took off an hour later than scheduled to Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Despite the fact the passengers were victorious, the airline's management later defended their decision to carry the controversial cargo.

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The airport in Bengkulu, meanwhile, is said to be rethinking how durian will be transported on future flights.

"When I entered the plane, I could already smell the scent of durian. I complained to the stewardess but they told me to just fill up a complaint form", passenger Amir Zidane wrote on Facebook, the BBC reported.

Crew allegedly told him that the smell would go away once the flight was in the air.

"I yelled at the other passengers 'Who on this plane wants to fly?'".

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

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

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