Two stinky passengers were recently thrown off a flight – as reported by Outside Magazine –
October 15, two Appalachian Trail thru-hikers were escorted off a Frontier Airlines flight at Boston’s Logan airport. The duo (who asked not to be named) had just completed their northbound hike and said they stopped to shower and change into clean clothes before arriving at the airport. Nevertheless, shortly after boarding, they were approached by crew members, who said they would not be allowed to fly because at least one of them had what was deemed to be offensive body odor. The hikers were walked off the plane, provided with travel-size toiletry bags, and told they could try to fly again the next day.
Back in the terminal, the hikers posted a tongue-in-cheek photo on a Facebook page for hikers. “First taste of the real world,” they wrote. “Now we’re in Boston with no way to get home.”
This elicited all kinds of responses from fellow backpackers, ranging from outrage (“Total bullshit! They should have let you fly!”) to empathy for the other passengers (“I wouldn’t even let my husband ride home in my car after he finished his hike!”). And it included, perhaps not surprisingly, all kinds of advice, ranging from the obvious (“Did you try deodorant?”) to the downright dangerous (“Douse yourself in Febreze and rub hand sanitizer in your armpits!”).
Outside contacted both hikers, along with Frontier. The two backpackers and the airline both said there had been some extenuating circumstances that hadn’t been made clear in the viral Facebook post—namely, that the hikers were flying on buddy passes (standby tickets provided to airline employees), because one of the hiker’s relatives works for the company. A Frontier spokesperson explained that passengers flying on these nonrevenue-generating tickets are held to a higher standard for personal hygiene. But, like most airlines, Frontier also has a general policy concerning such matters.
So what are the “rules” about personal hygiene when you fly – well there are in fact written rules. American Airlines – “be respectful that your odor isn’t offensive (unless it’s caused by a disability or illness).” Delta Airlines says you can be removed from the flight if your “hygiene or odor creates an unreasonable risk of offense or annoyance to other passengers.”
Even bus companies and train operators like Amtrak have similar policies.
So freshen up – but not too much! Remember there is a big movement out there against scent and cologne – so just soap and water please 🙂