Flatulent passenger grounds airline flight08 December 2006
NASHVILLE: It may be one problem airline security officials never envisioned – a passenger lighting matches in flight to mask odours from her flatulence.
The woman's actions resulted in an emergency landing on Monday in Nashville of an American Airlines flight bound for Dallas from Washington DC, said Lynne Lowrance, a spokeswoman for Nashville's airport.
Other passengers reported the odour of burnt matches, but the woman was not forthcoming when asked about it, Lowrance said on Wednesday.
"Of course, she was scared and embarrassed but all the passengers had to disembark, all the luggage had to be searched, a canine team was brought in, and about three hours were consumed in sorting out the situation," she said.
The woman was not allowed back on the flight and barred from flying on American Airlines, Lowrance said.
"Since there was no malice involved and the incident was accidental, she was not charged with anything," she said.
Passengers are permitted four books of paper safety matches on a plane but cannot light them during flight, Lowrance said.
"I've had calls from people all over the country about this," she said. "And I don't have the answer to this problem."