An international flight has turned back after a strong smell of marijuana aboard grew so pungent and powerful that several cabin crew began to feel ill.
A search of the plane, however, revealed none of the weed itself and nobody smoking it. No hashish or any cannabis product was found.
The heady aroma struck British Airways flight BA-2552 from London Gatwick to Heraklion in Greece. The BA flight was cruising at about 35,000 feet and had passed Paris, about 40 minutes into the flight, when it turned back after what the Aviation Herald called “an unbearable stench … reminiscent of cannabis”.
Several cabin crew reported feeling ill as result of the stench, the publication added.
Passengers “who had visited Amsterdam” reported that the odour in the cabin, in particular in the back of the cabin, “could not be mistaken for anything else but cannabis”.
Britain’s Daily Express estimated that the turnaround cost BA a total of GBP 50,000 (AUD 87,850). Fire crews were called in to investigate the pungent and lingering odour, but no cause was found.
One passenger told the paper that BA had said the smell should clear when they switched the air conditioning on – “but it got even stronger. You could tell straightaway what it was.”
The passenger said British Airways had “been very quiet at giving us an explanation”.
Written by Peter Needham