American Airlines: No, Passenger’s Farts Didn’t Make Entire Plane Sick

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It made an irresistable weekend news story: The passengers on an American Airlines flight became sick and had to leave the plane because of the overpowering flatulence of one person on the flight. American now says that isn’t true, but the story made it to news outlets around the world first.

“Headaches and nausea”

Here are the facts that American has now shared. Yes, there was an “odor in the cabin” on the plane, which made some passengers feel ill. Understandably so. On Sunday afternoon, a local TV station reported that passengers were experiencing “headaches and nausea” after their flight from Charlotte to Raleigh-Durham.

That would have been some very powerful flatulence, but the airline now reports that the odor in the cabin is probably due to an issue with the plane’s innards, not with its passengers’.

An actual mechanical issue

The alleged misinformation came from a spokesperson with the airport in Raleigh. An airline spokesman told WBTV:

“We did have an aircraft from Charlotte to RDU this afternoon, that landed at 2:19 p.m. ET, and arrived the gate at 2:21 p.m. ET, that is currently out of service for an actual mechanical issue – an odor in the cabin. But it is not due to ‘passed gas’ as mentioned.”

Not that huge amounts of flatulence couldn’t produce significant discomfort for passengers on a plane, but it’s good to know that there isn’t an air traveler roaming the country with a chemical weapon in his colon.

In a medical study on the subject, researchers learned that holding your gas in on a plane can have health effects, and you should just let it go.

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