Flying in an airplane is rarely fun. But sometimes, it can be downright unbearable.
While most people would consider sitting near a bad-smelling passenger to be bad enough, unpleasant body odor isn’t usually enough to land a plane.
But that is just what happened here, as one person’s foul odor was enough to sicken others and force the plane to land.
Transavia may sound like the name of an all-naturla sugar substitute, but it is a Dutch budget airline.
Unfortunately, one Transavia flight from the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, a fairly common vacation destination in Europe, was besieged by a foul odor.
Reportedly, passengers complained of an “unbearable” smell, which they blamed upon an “unwashed” man onboard.
The alleged olfactory assault was so severe that some passengers reportedly became ill.
Once the flight took off from the Las Palmas airport, some people’s reactions were so severe that they were fainting or vomiting.
One Belgian passenger named Piet van Haut reported that:
“It was a huge stench.”
It certainly sounds like it.
“The man was sitting on the last row of the plane.”
Nonetheless, it sounds like many passengers were impacted.
“And it smelled like he hadn’t washed for weeks.”
Apparently, after several passengers grew ill from the relentless assault upon their senses, airline staff asked the man to confine himself to the bathroom.
That was not enough to mitigate the damage, unfortunately.
The plane was headed for Amsterdam in the Netherlands, but had to make an emergency stop in Portugal, at Faro Airport.
It was then that the man was ushered off of the plane.
He was then placed on a bus by medical personnel.
In a statement from Transavia, it was said that the emergency stop was made for “medical” reasons.
Many people immediately wondered if perhaps the odor arose from something other than poor hygiene. Perhaps this poor man was suffering an illness that created a powerful and noxious body odor.
Diabetes, thyroid issues, and dysfunction in the kidneys or liver can lead to different and unpleasant body odor that can be difficult to mask.
There is another medical possibility: a mutation known as trimethylaminuria.
Trimethylamine is the chemical compound responsible for giving fish their “fishy odor.”
People with trimethylaminuria, which is extremely rare, are unable to break down that compound. This causes it to build up in their systems.
We don’t know what kind of bad smell drove these passengers to their limits. If what they were smelling was similar to fish emulsion, this could be the answer.
But obviously, we don’t know.
Sometimes, people don’t smell too bad even when they smell a little “ripe.” But please, no matter your personal opinion, tell someone if they are about to go fly somewhere and their body odor is in any way detectable.
We feel so sorry for this poor man and for his fellow passengers.
None of them asked for this to happen.
And honestly? We feel sorry for Transavia. A lot of airlines get bad press, but it sounds like Transavia did all of the right things, here.
There are so many ways to ruin someone’s flight. Let’s all try to avoid being at fault.