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Air travel smells worse than ever

You don’t have to tell that to Danielle Belyeu, who was recently stuck next to a passenger with strong body odor – rotting cheese and onion, as she described it – on a flight from the Caribbean island of Curaçao to Miami. 

“Thank goodness the flight was only a couple of hours,” said Belyeu, a travel advisor from Summerville, South Carolina.

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Being a travel pro, she came prepared: A lightly scented spray bottle of hand sanitizer held the stench at bay during the flight.

There’s a war of scents going on at 36,000 feet, and it’s escalating in ways you can’t see (but will probably smell). Some passengers are treating personal hygiene as if it’s optional. Others are taking matters into their own hands by spraying unapproved scents. Airlines, meanwhile, are maintaining a double standard for smells.

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What are airline policies for smells?

It turns out airlines have rules about smells, but they’re problematic. 

For example: 

  • American Airlines’ contract of carriage, the legal agreement between you and the airline, says it can refuse to transport “persons who have an offensive odor such as from a draining wound.”
  • Delta Air Lines also reserves the right to refuse transportation “when the passenger’s conduct, attire, hygiene or odor creates an unreasonable risk of offense or annoyance to other passengers.”
  • United Airlines has a similar provision, refusing to carry “Passengers who have or cause a malodorous condition.”

At the same time, airlines have given themselves a broad license to release their scents on the plane. 

A few years ago, United reportedly began using a proprietary fragrance called Landing (orange peel, bergamot, cypress) in its cabins. Delta Air Lines perfumed its planes with Calm (lavender and chamomile). During the pandemic, airlines sprayed the cabin interiors with chemical cleaners that left some passengers with a headache. And don’t even get me started on the lungfuls of jet fuel fumes that sometimes waft through the cabin before takeoff.

Like I said, it’s a war of scents up there.

Source lihttps://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/columnist/2024/03/22/flight-smells-bad/73039649007/nk :

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