Sumatra plane passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

A Sriwijaya Air flight departing from Bengkulu, Sumatra, and bound for the capital Jakarta was delayed for a whole hour after passengers refused to take off if the rank fruit had to travel with them in the passenger cabin.

A cargo of durian caused an Indonesian plane to be temporarily grounded after passengers complained about the fruit's room-clearing stench in the cabin.

The durian is known for being one of the grossest-smelling fruits in the world-think "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock", as one food writer has described it, per Smithsonian.

However the airline agreed to remove the fruit, and passengers disembarked while it was offloaded.

Passengers on the ground later recorded crews unloading the shipment of durian from the cargo area. The problem is, videos circulating where a passenger taking the video accused carrying durian as a safety hazard.

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 passenger onboard the plane detailed the incident, which took place on Monday, in a Facebook post. "Many airlines do this", Sriwijaya Air senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya said in a statement to the Post on Tuesday.

Zidane wrote that when he complained to a flight attendant about the stink and the heat on the plane she handed him a piece of paper and told him to put his complaint in writing.

The company went on to say that it was normal practice for Indonesian airlines to carry durian in the hold, "as long as [the durian] is packed well and enclosed in the cargo according to standard operating procedure".

It was at that point that Zidane turned to his fellow passengers and asked who wanted to fly with such a smell.They all shouted back: "Not us!".

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

Its potent stench means it's banned from public transportation, hotels and even planes in certain countries.