Urine Smell Delays American Airlines Flight 4.5 Hours

Sunday’s American Airlines flight AA2645 from Los Angeles to Washington Dulles was delayed 4.5 hours “due to a cabin cleanliness issue.”

There are several reasons not to check a bag.

  • It will may get lost
  • You waste half an hour on each end of the trip at baggage claim, multiply that out across your life
  • If something goes wrong delaying your flight, the airline may not rebook you

On Sunday Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank flew with children on American Airlines Sydney – Los Angeles but was delayed enroute to Washington Dulles. American wouldn’t put his family on a different plane because of his checked bags. But his planned aircraft wouldn’t go because, apparently, it smelled too much of urine.

Passengers have been known to go at their seat instead of using the lavatory. That requires, more or less, a hazmat team. And time. And airing the plane out (or the creative use of coffee grounds).

There’s a reason you don’t go into the lavatory barefoot. The worst smells emanating from there can even force a plane to turn around.

It’s good to know that American will fly without a working lav but not a plane that smells like a lav.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Until we pass a euroesque passenger bill of rights here in America, we will continue to hear these stories of grotesque passenger mistreatment.

  2. Americans deserve nothing better. Vote the business friendly party into power, get what you deserve.

  3. I’ve heard this before–people going in their seats. WHAT? So they’re walking around with urine-wet underwear and pants or dresses?

    And the bit about checked luggage? My luggage has been put on earlier flights and is left sitting in baggage claim for hours for anyone to take (since they don’t check bag claim tickets) so what’s the difference?

  4. @Katen: Yeah, because EC 261 is so socialist. Do you know what the word means?

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