He Who Smelt It, Dealt It. "It" Being Terror.

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Here's your "airline overreacting and assuming a dumb passenger is a terrorist" story of the week.

The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal body odor, Lowrance said. The woman lives near Dallas and has a medical condition.

The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane.

"American has banned her for a long time," Lowrance said.

Someday soon, someday when Americans least expect, an imam will fart on a plane. Are we ready to weather that storm?

Brian Doherty's profile of "suspected terrorist" John Gilmore and his civily disobedient approach to airline travel is up here.

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  1. i just got back from a loooooong flight from amsterdam to sfo. given the “atmosphere” of the lady sitting next to me, i’d support american airlines’ decision to ban stinksters of any gender, religion, or sexual persuasion.

    i’d also ban anyone over 300 pounds from being allowed to buy just one seat. this lady was a two-fer.

  2. Someday soon, someday when Americans least expect, an imam will fart on a plane. Are we ready to weather that storm?

    We must ban hummus. It’s the only way.

  3. Perhaps not a terrorist, but extremely dumb; a fire on an aircraft is no joke. Much of the material is flammable and gives off toxic fumes, and one has to wait for the aircraft to land before one can escape. To land (or ditch in the ocean) from 30,000 feat can take 20 – 40 minutes.

    That is why a large proportion of aircraft fires end up with the deaths of all souls on board.

  4. tarran

    did it ever occur to anyone to perhaps build the cabin interior from materials other than kerosene-soaked straw?

  5. Oh, and how’s a fire gonna kill a soul? As I understand it, the common situation involves the death of their earthly bodies, while the souls live on to haunt the skies.

  6. “Someday soon, someday when Americans least expect, an imam will fart on a plane. Are we ready to weather that storm?”

    Who will rid me of these troublesome imams?

  7. Perhaps not a terrorist, but extremely dumb; a fire on an aircraft is no joke.

    On the other hand, how many times have you lit a match and then accidentally set the furniture on fire?

    Wait, don’t answer that.

  8. Perhaps not a terrorist, but extremely dumb; a fire on an aircraft is no joke. Much of the material is flammable and gives off toxic fumes,

    C’mon… chance of accidental fire on a plane as the result of someone lighting a match is ridiculously minuscule. Probably along the lines of someone spontaneously combusting while lighting a match.

  9. And how many more must be exposed to noxious intestinal fumes until something is finally done? Sounds like Big Gas is behind this.

  10. I can only guess that tarran must be too young to remember the days when airplanes had smoking sections. Its a wonder that any planes landed intact with all those passengers in the rear of the aircraft with matches, lighters, and lit cigarettes!

  11. Couple of points:

    1) I do remember when airplanes had smoking sections. Granted I know of no aircraft fire started with a cigarette or a match. Then again, do U.S. carriers even have ashtrays anymore?

    2) Aircraft interiors have large quantities of flammable materials, since fire retardant ones tend to be too heavy. Not quite as flammable as Kerosene coated straw, but definitely flammable.

    3) The chance of someone starting a fire with a match is indeed low. However, it is far higher than them spontaneously combusting. (Perhaps the people you know refrain too much from farting? I understand that holding farts in is a major contributor to spontaneous human combustion). People accidentally starting fires with matches happens a few 10’s of times per year. Spontaneous human combustion seems to occur always 50 years in the past (making it an urban legend IMHO).

    4) Referring to souls on board to count the people on board is a common custom from aviation. I didn’t make it, just use it.

    I stand by my assertion that the woman is an idiot. Should she be arrested? No. Is it dumb of American Airlines to ban her from their aircraft? No.

  12. Tarran, I seriously have to question your beliefs on the whole “fire-retardant materials in airplanes” thing, because every single US commercial airliner uses fire-retardant materials. There is a set of FAA requirements on it, and materials have to pass testing to be approved. It’s called FAR 25.853 if you want to research it.

  13. Tarran:

    Then again, do U.S. carriers even have ashtrays anymore?

    Actually they are still required to have ashtrays available, just not in the seats. I apologize, but I don’t feel like finding the CFR right now.

    Aircraft interiors have large quantities of flammable materials, since fire retardant ones tend to be too heavy.

    This is false. They are far more fireproof than anything in your home. Everything on an aircraft has extensive burn requirements. Almost all materials are self-extinguishing if the original source is removed.

  14. Holding farts in is a major contributor to letting out one big one.

  15. OK, I did a litle research, and I’m definitely wrong. I withdraw my assertion about flamability of materials in aircraft cabins.

    Sorry.

  16. I have an overwhelming urge to invite thirty friends onto an American Airlines flight with me, after treating us all to a hearty dinner of fermented cabbage and refried beans.

    By the time our flight is over, Congress will make it illegal not to light a match on a plane after you fart.

  17. But, Jennifer, the breastfeeding toddlers might lose their appetites too!

  18. I think this passenger was up to something nefarious. It’s well-known that women don’t fart.

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