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Smelly fruit removed from plane after passengers complain

09 November 2018

A journalist from Indonesia's Antara news agency was also on board and reported that some passengers had arguments with staff that almost ended in physical blows.

After passengers who had already boarded the plane made a decision to get off, the staff chose to acquiesce and unloaded the fruit, a process that delayed the flight by an hour but it landed safely in Jakarta.

Passengers refused to fly with the shipment of fruit, leading the airline to delay the flight for an hour so the durian could be unloaded.

As they protested for the removal of what is considered by some a delicacy, and by others a cheese-smelling fruit, passengers reportedly referred to a 2005 crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in Medan, which killed 149 people.

It's even banned from public transport in Singapore and Bangkok, where it's also not uncommon to see "No Durian Allowed" signs in hotels and hostels.

The Sriwijaya Air flight departed for Jakarta at about 11.40 am, an hour later than scheduled.

"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", a Sriwijaya Air spokesperson said in a statement.

A reporter with the Indonesian media group Antara, who happened to be on the plane, said passengers became agitated upon encountering the scent of durian wafting through cabin before takeoff.

However, he was unsatisfied with the answer and called his fellow passengers against flying in those conditions.

Following the incident, Sriwajiya Air said the airline was within its rights to carry the fruit in cargo.

The airline admitted it was carrying more than two tonnes of the whiffy wares but insisted they posed no danger to the flight, adding the smell would dissipate once the aircraft took off.

"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.

Smelly fruit removed from plane after passengers complain