An Aer Lingus A320 en route from Dublin to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands turned around and returned to Dublin after encountering a strange smell.
The aircraft, an Aer Lingus A320-200 flight number EI-776 had taken off from Dublin Airport at 7.50am and was 30 minutes into its flight when the captain advised air traffic controllers that they would need to return to Dublin.
According to the Aviation Herald, the flight deck informed Dublin Air Traffic Control that flight attendants had noticed a mysterious smell in the passenger cabin. They thought it was coming out of the aircraft’s air-conditioning system.
With nobody seemingly affected by the strange smell, the captain said he would monitor the situation and see how it developed.
The cabin crew started complaining about itchy eyes
Now with the plane, about 100 kilometers south of the “Emerald Isle,” flight crew complained of possible side effects. While not physically sick or light-headed, the cabin crew did say they had watery, itchy eyes that might be due to the smell.
Because of what the cabin crew said, the pilots decided to return to Dublin. The aircraft was permitted to descend and burn off fuel so that the plane could land within weight safety limits.
Irish news outlet The Journal asked Aer Lingus if they had any comment on the incident, and while they did not respond officially, a source confirmed that plane returned to Dublin due to a suspicious smell.
One passenger complained of feeling nauseous
The source added that one passenger complained of “feeling nauseous” which is why they arranged for an ambulance to meet the aircraft’s arrival as a precaution.
When questioned later, according to Breaking News IE an Aer Lingus spokesperson said,
”Aer Lingus flight EI776 from Dublin to Lanzarote departed Dublin at 07:28 local time and was required to turn back shortly after take-off due to a technical issue. The aircraft landed safely at Dublin Airport at 09:06.
“Guests are being re-accommodated on a different aircraft with a new departure time of 13:00 local time, arriving in Lanzarote at 17:00 local time. Guests have been issued with meal vouchers.
“Subsequently the returning EI777 has been delayed with a new departure time at Lanzarote of 17:50 local arriving into Dublin at 21:55 local time.”
Passengers waiting in Lanzarote were given food vouchers
The spokesperson then added that guests in Lanzarote have been advised of the situation and their revised departure time.
Passengers booked to return back to Dublin were informed of the delay by SMS and email and given food vouchers at the airport due to the delay.
“Aer Lingus would like to apologize for the delay to affected guests,” they said.
A replacement A320 -200 registration EI-DES was provided to take the passengers to Lanzarote landing in the Canaries six hours later than the aircraft scheduled arrival.
If you happened to be aboard Aer Lingus flight EI-776 we would love to hear your opinions on the bad odor.