Indonesian Plane Grounded as Passengers Refuse to Fly Because of Durian Fruit

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

Sumatra plane passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo

Some passengers even argued that apart from the unpleasant smell, they were also concerned by the extra weight on board.

It has often been compared to the smell of raw sewage or turpentine ("garnished with a gym sock", as per travel and food writer Richard Sterling), so you know that it's not something you'd like to have around in an enclosed space.

An Indonesian flight was delayed after fights broke out over the pungent smell of durian fruit in the passenger cabin.

The late Anthony Bourdain reportedly described durian as "something you will either love or despise ..."

In their arguments for the fruit's removal, some passengers referred to the crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in 2005 which failed to take off and killed 149 people.

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

The standoff ended when boarded passengers began to get off the flight.

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Boyke Ledy Watra, a reporter with Indonesia's Antara news agency who was aboard the fetid flight, said passengers began arguing with the crew - with some nearly coming to blows with flight attendants. His Facebook post about the incident has been shard more than 20,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

The flight attendants assured him the smell would dissipate once the plane was airborne.

Realising he wasn't the only one unhappy, Amir Zidane rallied support, writing in his post: "I yelled at the other passengers 'Who on this plane wants to fly?'".

'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, ' Mr Maya said.

Claims made in the videos that the plane was carrying three tonnes of durian were dismissed on Tuesday by Retri Maya, senior corporate communications manager at Sriwijaya Air.

Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian.

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