Jazz Air, Air Canada‘s regional partner, removed a passenger whose overwhelming odor was making passengers uncomfortable. Details are minimal, but pretty straightforward: The smell was simply too much to bear, and the flight crew ultimately decided the man had to go.
What’s most interesting about this incident, to me, is that Jazz Air spokeswoman Manon Stuart suggested there is no specific policy for dealing with malodorous passengers. CNN writes, that, according to Stuart, “The airline, like most air carriers, doesn’t have a specific policy covering body odor.”
Huh? Anyone who’s been following this blog knows, at least in the case of “most air carriers,” that this is demonstrably false. Back in November, we examined the ways in which flyers can get themselves kicked off a plane, which included having a “malodorous condition.” This language is pretty standard boilerplate for most, if not all, airline contracts of carriage.
Including Air Canada‘s. Rule 35 covers “refusal to transport,” the reasons for which Air Canada can deny transport to ticketed passenger. Section C covers reasons connected to “passenger condition,” and part three of that section states, “When the passenger has an offensive odor.” That’s a pretty unequivocal statement from Jazz Air’s parent airline.
(Ed. note: Jazz Air doesn’t have a contract of carriage posted on its website, at least none that I could find, which leads me to assume that it adheres to Air Canada’s. I’ve contacted Air Canada for clarification.)
It’s a relatively minor point to dispute, but at the same time it’s important to remind travelers that airlines can, and sometimes will, remove passengers from their aircraft for any number of reasons.
Last week we had a lively talk about plane manners, so I’m wondering if you have any tips for politely handling a situation like this. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.