American Airlines Says a Farting Passenger Did Not Cause a Flight Evacuation

Considering all of the absolutely ridiculous and genuinely awful incidents that took place on major airlines in just the first half of this year alone, the news reports about an American Airlines flight that was forced to evacuate due to a passenger's flatulence over the weekend didn't seem particularly farfetched. But, thankfully, it turns out that's not what actually happened.

American Airlines said news reports that one of its flights was evacuated at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Sunday after a passenger's apparent in-flight fumigation made other passengers sick are false, according to a report by USA Today. Although the initial reports in question cite an airport official who said passengers experienced headaches and nausea when someone "passed gas" on the plane, American refuted this account and said the aircraft was never evacuated. Everyone deplaned as usual shortly after landing, the airline said. No harmful tailwind.  

“We did have an aircraft from Charlotte to RDU this afternoon, that landed at 2:19 p.m. ET, and arrived the gate at 2:21 p.m. ET, that is currently out of service for an actual mechanical issue – and odor in the cabin," American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein told the Associated Press (emphasis added). "But it is not due to 'passed gas' as mentioned."

In fact, airport officials said they received a medical call related to the decidedly non-gastrointestinal odor on the plane shortly after the passengers deplaned, according to the paper. So far, it's unclear where the idea of the alleged cabin cropdusting originated, but as they say, whoever smelt it dealt it.

The bottom line (sorry, we couldn't help it): you can rest assured that this particular travel nightmare is still merely a nightmare. At least, for now. 

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Tony Merevick is Senior News Editor at Thrillist and, thankfully, has never experienced sitting near an airplane farter. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.