Necrotic stench in the First class cabin

Old Jan 7, 18, 8:39 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,355
Unhappy Necrotic stench in the First class cabin

My first flight of 2018 was memorable, but not in a good way. I was on UA298 YVR-ORD and about 10 minutes after the guy in the adjacent seat arrived, I began to notice the most revolting smell. It was somewhere between sewer gas and a dead animal behind the wallboards. It was intermittent throughout the next three hours of the flight, and it was only as we deplaned that the woman across the aisle commented that she could barely keep her meal down during the flight because of the stench. I wasn't far behind her in the struggle against tossing my cookies!

Could there have been a problem with the ventilation? Or in the front galley? Or was it just my seat mate who brought these odors aboard. If the latter, that guy needs medical help! But if it's the former, then United needs to decontaminate that aircraft pronto. Because I was unsure if it was the pax next to me, I didn't discuss with the FAs, who behaved as if everything was normal during the flight. They must have smelt the same thing as the rest of the gagging pax in F did.

What do FT sages advise as an appropriate course of (in)action regarding this malodorous melodrama?
transportprof is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 9:07 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Haze gray and underway
Programs: UA 1K MM, HH Diamond, Marriott 'clink clink' Titanium
Posts: 1,491
Was your seat mate dressed like a back woods tracker?
Dublin_rfk is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 9:10 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,355
Originally Posted by Dublin_rfk View Post
Was your seat mate dressed like a back woods tracker?
He was dressed all in black, but it was more tech than tracker.
transportprof is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 9:27 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LAS
Programs: 3 MMer
Posts: 458
Canada, Aye?
https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/05/dressed-black-bloated-gas-stinks/
Dublin_rfk likes this.
Two Bee is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 12:59 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 882
If it was that really bad and overtly noticeable in the cabin, I would have complained politely, yet loud enough to the service director (if the door was still open that is) so everyone in the cabin heard it. Would have probably caused more pax to speak up as well. It's harder for them to easily dismiss it that way too. I would have asked to be deplaned and rebooked at no charge if it was really bad.

You can tell body odor, etc, easily, and therefore I doubt it was the pax next to you as you'd know.

As it's post flight, all you can do is write it up.
KDS777 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 1:38 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.6MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 4,159
Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
You can tell body odor, etc, easily, and therefore I doubt it was the pax next to you as you'd know.
Wouldn't have to be body odor.
As someone who has worked in some pretty smelly places in the past, it could have easily been a matter of the person coming from work where his
clothes were "contaminated" with the foul odor, and he didn't have a spare set of clothes on him, and didn't see fit to buy some at the airport to change into.
Also, being in a smelly environment for a prolonged period of time can easily lead to one getting rather "immune" and used to its nastiness, and therefore the offender
here might not have immediately known how bad he smelt.

From OP's description [[i]"It was somewhere between sewer gas and a dead animal behind the wallboards"] my best guess is that Mr. Stinkypants came directly from
an animal rendering plant to the airport.

Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
What do FT sages advise as an appropriate course of (in)action regarding this malodorous melodrama?
Re-introduce showers at the United Clubs!
narvik is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:04 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Navajo Nation, Northern Arizona (ABQ, PHX, LAS)
Programs: RCC: SC; BC: M.Ed.; UA: PG; DL: GM
Posts: 13,777
Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
It was somewhere between sewer gas and a dead animal behind the wallboards.
Sounds like an emotional support mouse from a previous flight got loose and 'expired' in the plane's ventilation system. I'd definitely report it to United.
kale73 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:05 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 35,239
United's dead customer service perhaps?
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:16 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: CT USA
Posts: 2,577
Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
United's dead customer service perhaps?
Or maybe is was a dead rat. They can only live so long on those wires.
JumboJet is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:20 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,373
United's new signature scent, like Singapore's "Floridian Waters" and Delta's "Calm"?
embarcadero1 likes this.
mduell is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:22 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 882
Originally Posted by Narvik
Wouldn't have to be body odor.
I agree, but that's not my point.

You'd know if it was a pax.......not the aircraft.
In The 216 likes this.
KDS777 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:34 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.6MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 4,159
Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
I agree, but that's not my point.

You'd know if it was a pax.......not the aircraft.
Fair enough, but I am not so sure. With the ventilation blowing I don't think a particular odor's origin is easily placeable. OP's recount suggests this difficulty.
narvik is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 2:38 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 882
Just glad I wasn't there.........heh.
KDS777 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 3:41 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bellingham/Gainesville
Programs: UA-G MM, Priority Club Platinum, Avis First, Hertz 5*, Red Lion
Posts: 1,884
If I would venture a guess I would go down 3 paths:
-petro worker that inadvertantly got a trace of mercaptan on their clothes/shoes. Harmless really
-someone that was on a farm or outdoors that stepped in something stinky. When you walk through something you don't notice it, particularly if it is cold and it doesn't start 'smelling' until it warms up when you are inside/thawing out. Again, harmless.
-Something in the engines (oil or cleaning solvent) that is evaporating off in flight into the air supply either in bypass (normal) or was spilled into the air system by mistake when doing maintenance.
prestonh is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 4:46 pm
  #15  
formerly FrequentFlyKid
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Programs: United Global Services, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador, National Executive Elite
Posts: 970
The "it was probably" posts could go on forever. Nobody has any idea. I have no reason to doubt any part of your post. That said, if it was as bad as your describing, I am having a difficult time envisioning nobody saying anything - including the flight attendants.
In The 216 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: