On Sunday, passengers were deplaned from an American Airlines aircraft after a strong odor reportedly caused three crew members to complain of eye irritation and headaches. The flight originated in Charlotte, North Carolina, and arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at 3:34 pm local time. The stench was described in a subsequent report as “flatulence.”
As reported by WBTV, emergency medical personnel were called to Terminal 2 to check on the members of the crew who complained about having reactions associated with the odor, though none were transported by EMS for further treatment.
A spokesman for Raleigh-Durham International Airport confirmed there was “a complaint about being affected by an odor” and that “EMS did respond and check them out.”
A log of the incident stated American Airlines crew members “gave various descriptions of the smell (all indicating an individual had passed gas).”
Early reports of the incident suggested the aircraft was rerouted based on the odor, but a spokeswoman for the airlines stated that it arrived at its scheduled destination. Additionally, passengers were said to have deplaned in a regular fashion.
Officials representing American Airlines acknowledge there was an odor issue, but deny that flatulence was responsible for the incident.
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines, provided a statement that said, “We did have an aircraft from Charlotte to RDU this afternoon, that landed at 2:19 pm ET, and arrived at the gate at 2:21 pm ET, that is currently out of service for an actual mechanical issue – and odor in the cabin. But it is not due to ‘passed gas’ as mentioned.”
The nature of the mechanical issue has not been disclosed by American Airlines officials. The plane in question has since resumed operations and is considered in service.