Airlines Behaving Badly: A Week of Many Smells

Nov 10, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Welcome to Airlines Behaving Badly! It’s been a few weeks since our last roundup of unruly actions by our favorite airliners but we’re back and better than ever. This time around we’re taking a look at the British Airways “journey from hell,” an incident involving some infamously smelly produce and (unfortunately) more.

Here’s what you missed:

Passengers Endure a ‘Journey From Hell’

A British Airways flight set to fly from Orlando (MCO) to London Gatwick (LGW) ended up taking longer than the usual eight hours when it faced some severe technical issues. Starting with an overnight delay in Orlando, the trip home wouldn’t conclude until three days later but would include a stop in New York (JFK).

Passengers aboard the flight weren’t pleased, as you could guess. Especially when they arrived at JFK and the airport was completely unprepared to accommodate them.

After a rough night of sleeping on floors and benches, the BA passengers eventually made it home 77 hours behind schedule.

Worst Seat in the House

Delta Air Lines is in it deep after a Diamond Medallion member found a disgusting surprise on his seat aboard the plane. Passenger Matthew Meehan, who was heading from Atlanta (ATL) to Miami (MIA), first noticed a “foul smell.”

“I sit in my seat, and I immediately smell something, and I thought, ‘Not another flight that smells bad,’” Meehan told Yahoo Lifestyle. “And then I went to take my charger out, bent down completely to charge my phone and realized it’s not just a smell, it’s actually feces and it’s all over the back of my legs, it’s all over the floor, all over the wall of the plane. And I sat in it,” he said.

However, when it was reported to the flight crew, not much was done about it. Boarding continued, the seat wasn’t cleaned and Meehan was given a measly bottle of gin to clean the feces off his body. According to Delta, the mess was allegedly from an “ill service animal” that was aboard the previous flight and after landing in Miami, the plane was taken out of service “to be deep cleaned and disinfected.” The airline offered Meehan 50,000 SkyMiles in compensation, which is about $600 according to TPG’s valuations.

A Smelly Problem

Passengers aboard a Sriwijaya Air flight from Jakarta (CGK) to Bengkulu (BKS) on Monday faced a peculiar delay.

The durian fruit, known for its ripe stench of “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock” was stashed in bulk in the plane’s cargo. While it’s not illegal for flights to carry durian (though it is banned from public transportation in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore), the high volume aboard the plane made the stench so unbearable for passengers that they started to “revolt.”

Amir Zidane, who was aboard the flight, said on Facebook: “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. I yelled at the other passengers ‘Who on this plane wants to fly?’ They all chanted back ‘not us!!’”

Eventually, the two tonnes of durian were removed from the plane’s cargo.

Ryanair Flight Impounded on the Tarmac

In a high stakes game of catch and release, the French civil aviation authority released a Ryanair plane just a few hours after dramatically seizing it.

French authorities originally seized the aircraft at Bordeaux Airport over unpaid funds. The Irish airliner had been in debt since 2008 and still owed more than $600,000 on Thursday when the plane was impounded. French authorities said that they did it “as a regrettable last resort” and that the plane would “remain immobilized until the sum is paid.” The 149 passengers that were about to depart for London were forced to disembark, and spent five hours waiting for another flight.

The plane was eventually returned to Ryanair after they paid their debt of approximately $545,000.

Featured image by Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.