A Dutch Transavia jet was forced into an emergency landing last week as panicked travellers fainted in their seats and vomited in the aisles.
It sounds like the opening scene of an apocalyptic movie, but the emergency landing was actually forced by a passenger who smelled as if he hadn’t washed for several weeks.
The flight was heading to AMS from the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. But before it got there, passengers began to gag and become violently ill. “From the moment he stepped into the aisle, people began to scream and dived into their bags looking for handkerchiefs to keep in front of them,” passenger Piet van Haut told De Telegraaf.
Cabin crew tried in vain to cover the stench with perfume, but nothing could mask it. “It was a huge stench…The smell made me think that the man hadn't washed for weeks,” said van Haut.
The crew eventually moved the man to sit in the toilet at the back of the plane to try and protect pax from the smell. However, even that wasn’t enough, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in Faro, Portugal.
The man was then handed over to a waiting ambulance and medical team, before the flight continued on to its destination. Transavia confirmed that a man had been removed from the flight for “medical reasons, but it is indeed right that he smelled quite a bit,” according to Euro Weekly News.
The culprit may have left, but his influence lingered. Though food and drink was supposed to be served during the journey, cabin crew decided not to because the odor was so strong.
The plane eventually made it to Amsterdam, some two hours after it was scheduled to land.
“Nobody could stand the stench,” Van Haut said. “I heard someone say that the stench was worse than that of a corpse that had been decomposing for a month. It was an untenable situation,” Van Haut said.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.