Tangerine causes near hour-long delay for SWISS flight

Tangerine causes near hour-long delay for SWISS flight

After foul smells rerouted flights to Frankfurt and caused an emergency landing in Zurich Airport, it is clear that odd odours and SWISS flights don’t mix. Now, a new report by 20 minuten has revealed that a SWISS flight was delayed nearly an hour because of the citrus smell from a tangerine.

SWISS flight delayed due to citrus smell

According to the newspaper, the saga started when a lady called Andrea boarded the LX2155 flight from Zurich to Majorca on October 16. As SWISS no longer serves food for free on short-haul flights, she had come prepared with a few tangerines as a snack for the journey, which she ate as the cabin crew were preparing for departure.

However, the lady was soon approached by a member of the cabin crew. She told 20 minuten that, as she was wearing headphones at the time, “It sounded to me like she asked me if I wanted something to eat, but since I had the headphones in I didn't understand her properly and replied no."

48-minute flight delay caused by tangerine

It was only after she took her headphones off that she found out that the cabin crew were actually looking for the source of an orange smell. Once she reported the tangerines to staff, she was approached by a less-than-impressed captain who told her that her citrus fruit had just caused a 48-minute delay.

"I never thought that a tangerine could cause such a massive delay, some passengers were angry with me afterwards, which I can understand," Andrea noted. The plane was able to take off from the Swiss airport and land in Majorca half an hour late - connecting passengers had to be driven to their connections by van, while some had to be rebooked, all because of a tangerine.

A spokesperson for SWISS confirmed that the tangerine was the reason for the delay. They explained that the smell could mean that a liquid was leaking from somewhere which could pose a safety hazard, hence why they couldn’t take off without finding the offending fruit. 

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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