JournalismPakistan.com March 20, 2015
I have been writing on aviation for 30 years but the incident last week on a BA flight beats anything I have ever heard. It returned to Heathrow on its way to Dubai after the captain reported that the forward loo was emanating a foul odor. Like smelly poo which was unbearable for folks sitting in that area. The flight was then over Brussels.
The next flight was after 15 hours and the poo problem cost the airline a pretty packet because they had to provide hotel accommodation for all on board.
What one cannot understand is how the loo overflowed in such a short time, like landing at Brussels would be an hour and five minutes. Overflying Brussels transcontinental at 31,000 ft would have been 45 minutes. So why should a loo produce such a pong. And it was a 747-400 Jumbo jet at that.
Smells are not unusual in flight. From Bo of fellow passengers to stinky toilets to fond parents letting babies leak onto the flooring, we get it all. Add to it exotic and not so exotic food smells and flying is an olfactory orgy. But you get used to it. If stench was a complaint half the flights in the world would be turning around and not making it to their destination.
This ‘smelly’ reason must have been aggravated by a fractured toilet tank and the possibility of a massive leak of liquid excrement (eeeew) that compelled the captain to turn the aircraft around.
There is no way it can get full in 45 minutes if the pre-flight maintenance had been done according to the book.
Some criticism of BA for the decision. Discomfort and a day wasted but way I see it quite thoughtful to have spared passengers the agony of hours of smell. Most airlines would have sprayed some lavender or comparatively sweet and sickly stuff and carried on.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today andBahrain Tribune)
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