Stink that Diverted Qantas Flight was Dirty Diaper

Last Sunday, passengers on a Qantas flight heading from Darwin to Brisbane complained of a foul odor, so the pilot immediately swung into action. Following procedures, he diverted the aircraft in mid-journey to the little airport in Mt. Isa (population 18,000+).

Diaper Drama in the Skies

The cause of the odor has now been revealed: According to a statement from Qantas, “Unfortunately the fumes turned out to be a very smelly nappy dumped in the fwd toilet.” – statement from Qantas Airways

Translation from the Australian: a dirty diaper. While a Qantas spokesman admitted they were embarrassed by all the fuss, they also said, “better safe than sorry.”

Should Planes have Separate Sections for Kids?

‘Diaper’ Ordeal Gets Even Worse for Passengers

For the passengers aboard the diaper flight, things went from bad to worse. The ground crew at the airport couldn’t find a set of stairs tall enough to reach the door of the big plane – a Boeing 767 – so passengers had to be removed by forklift.

Yes, forklift – which took some time as a forklift could only accommodate 4 to 5 people at a time. Eventually, a new aircraft was found and passengers were on their way again.

Bad Body Odor Can Get You Kicked Off a Plane, Too

Other Odor Issues on Planes

This is hardly the first time an unusual stench has created havoc for a flight schedule – a so-called ‘mystery smell’ aboard a US Airways plane in Ft. Lauderdale sent flight attendants to a hospital late last year.

Perhaps the most notorious incident took place on an Air Canada Jazz flight in 2010 when a passenger was removed because his body odor was so “brutal.”


Published: February 3, 2012