Diverted to Denmark due to smelly carpets?

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stinky carpte

One of the sites I check each day, both for curiosity and for finding out what is going on with the industry safety wise, is The Aviation Herald at www.avherald.com. The other day they had this post about a Lufthansa flight. It said:

“Incident: Lufthansa A320 near Copenhagen on Aug 30th 2013, smelly carpet
By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Aug 30th 2013 21:38Z, last updated Friday, Aug 30th 2013 21:38Z

A Lufthansa Airbus A320-200, registration D-AIZE performing flight LH-809 from Stockholm (Sweden) to Frankfurt/Main (Germany) with 129 passengers, was enroute at FL360 about 85nm northeast of Copenhagen (Denmark) when the crew decided to divert to Copenhagen due to a strong odour on board. The aircraft landed safely on runway 22L about 15 minutes later.

The passengers were rebooked onto other flights.

Maintenance determined that the odour originated from a newly installed carpet.

The incident aircraft departed Copenhagen after about 2.5 hours on the ground just with the flight crew on board and positioned to Frankfurt reaching Frankfurt with a delay of 2:45 hours.”

Now there are all sorts of reasons to divert. A tiny light can fail and smoke either in the cockpit or in the main cabin. But stinky carpets? I just thought this was a bit strange.

I know there are things that can have a HUGE impact on people. For example, take those who are say peanut allergic, it can be life and death – yes that serious – and if you request it your Delta flight will have NO peanuts served – but this one , humm. You tell me? – René

PS – Think on this one as it will be part of SWAG Saturday at 1:PM

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  1. If it was a new carpet then the smell is going to be a chemical sort of smell either from the carpet itself or the glue used to fix it.

    So in response to a strong chemical smell in the cabin, a divert is probably the right thing to do even though it turned out to be nothing more than the carpet

  2. As anyone who has ever had the “pleasure” of experience newly installed industrial carpet can tell you…the “odor” is not just an unpleasant smell but can really make you sick.

    What you are smelling are glue and other chemical particles being released by the carpet. Here is a link:


    Normally in a building it is a good practice to leave the windows open and allow the new carpet to “air out” for several days….but you can’t really do that on an airplane…

    Sorry for rambling but my point is that this definitely isn’t a nuisance issue but could very well be a health and safety issue.

  3. It’s very unhealthy to sit captively breathing recycled volatile chemical fumes. So I don’t think it was wrong to divert, rather I think it was wrong to put the aircraft back into service before the smell dissipated.

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