This news story poses a very interesting question. A group of people who had used a toiletry item that had an odour other people found offensive were deboarded from a flight. That's the essence of it, but it's complicated by the fact that the complainers were white and the people they were complaining about were black.
An American judge, Oliver Wendell Holmes, said "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins," and this story that shows that there's more than one way to assail a nose. There must be a line somewhere between someone turning up a nose at an unfamiliar odour, and hence at the person attached to it, versus someone truly experiencing physical distress on account of an offensive odour. It's not uncommon for an airline to refuse carriage to someone with extremely poor personal hygiene, and one often sees requests for people to avoid wearing extreme amounts of cologne in public places. But where is that line, and how do you draw it? If I sit next to you in an airplane I can likely smell your shampoo, your hair control products, your deodorant, whether you had garlic for lunch, and whether you're
sacred scared. I may find your smell distracting, but would you deserve to be kicked off a plane for it? Smelly is in the nose of the beholder.
I suspect that if the airline offered to accommodate the complaining passengers on a later flight, they may have suddenly found the odour more acceptable.
You can detect if I'm sacred with your nose? That's a sensitive schnozz! :-)
Of course. It must be the incense.
You guys are funny. Fixed.
The people refused were members of an African tribe wearing traditional garb and ceremonial "perfume" with an extremely offensive smell for a TV show about primitive people being exposed to western civilisation (after the previous season had seen western people living among that same tribe for a period).
Apparently (I've only seen fragments) it was intended to show how stupid western people are for refusing to adept to African culture and practices, whereas those Africans can apply themselves quite well in western society (with incidents like this, deliberately orchestrated, being presented as more proof as to westerners being inconsiderate towards "traditional cultures").
They were deplaned, and offered seats on the next flight under the condition they clean themselves up first so they'd not smell so bad.
I admit I work more with smelly chemicals than smelly people, but I've found that it's amazing what your nose will learn to ignore after a while. As long as it isn't dangerous or doesn't make me cough or make my eyes water (some chemicals I work with meet one, two, or all three of those), I figure I'll get used to it.
(And I have worked in a sewage treatment plant. You really do get used to it.)
I'm sure that the TV audience at home really appreciated the perfume... maybe they had smell-a-vision! This is a dilemma though, both my wife and I are super sensitive to perfumes and frequently have to move in church when a fragrant (usually older) women sits nearby. Tough to do without offending somebody though. But, to paraphrase Confucius: Them that smells in church, sits in their own pew.
There's a tropical fruit called the durian. When ripe it has a strong taste and smell that make it a delicacy to some people: others can't bear to be near them.
Airlines in durian-prone areas take a firm line: durians are not allowed on and if one's detected it's ejected. Everyone knows this so there's no injustice: the problem's when people don't expect there to be a problem.
I followed up the smelly incident . It appears to be most probably a provocative stunt by the politically correct brigade . The cosmetic in question is a buttery paste applied liberally to the face . It is very pungent and apparently unpleasant to western sensibilties . Moreover it is reported that the individuals involved checked in without wearing it so presumably applied it airside - for whatever reason .
If so then those passengers who objected were quite entitled , and subsequent action by KLM was fully justified .
I've heard durians called "Klingon coconuts". Buses in Singapore bear signs announcing no eating, no littering, and no durians.
Strange...did they really deboard them???
Avoiding situations like this, as well as the Unwashed Masses is why I fly "J" or better when flying is the only reasonable choice. It used to be a pleasant experience, but that is long gone, thanks to Dr. Kahn. -C.
Supposing the airline invited those who complained to join a later flight, and 90 percent of the passengers stood up?
Bruce - It could well happen like that - which is why the operators would never make that offer . They are not stupid , but they have "politically correct " in their rear view mirrors all the time . Sad
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