Man’s rant about woman ‘reeking of perfume’ on plane divides the internet

Long-haul travel can make anyone irate, but some air passengers are more easily annoyed than others.

One man took to Reddit to complain about his neighbour on a short flight, who he said disrupted his journey by “reeking of perfume” when she boarded the plane.

Writing on the discussion website’s popular “AITA (Am I The A***hole)” forum, he said: “20th hour of travel for me. After a three-hour delay on my final one hour flight, a pretty, preppy young lady sits in the middle seat, me (mid-age WM [white male]) in the window.

“She already reeked of perfume, but she pulls out a heavily odorific hand sanitiser and slathers herself.”

He went on: “I am literally sick to my stomach, but hold my tongue, thinking it would wane soon.

“It didn’t. Minutes later, as I peek out from under my mask to adjust the air vent she asks if I’ll open the blind for her to see.

“Yes, I say… but grumpy me lets out, ‘Your fragrance is very strong’.

“‘Sorry,’ she replies sheepishly.

“I pull down my sleep mask to match my Covid mask and bear my stomach sickness in exhausted silence for the rest of the flight.”

The man went on to say that when the flight landed, his seat neighbour told him that he had made her “very uncomfortable” and that he should be “more sensitive to what other people are going through”.

He added that she said she had no sense of smell herself.

“Also, she says her husband said the sanitizer smelled nice.”

“I keep my cool, but tell her she should not use fragrances next time she flies. Honestly, the moment I left the plane, I felt better.”

The man asked fellow Reddit users whether he was being unreasonable to expect a flight free of strong scents, and whether he was entitled to complain.

“Was there a better way to handle that situation? I wasn’t trying to upset her, just to breathe and suggest she back off the perfumes.

“If it were just her sanitizer, she could have (as she suggested) washed her hands. She didn’t.

“I’m not sure if she learned a lesson, or what I could have done differently, other than try to switch seats with someone, which might have hurt her more. What do y’all think?”

The post has already attracted 955 comments and 2,100 upvotes (likes), many of them agreeing with the irate frequent flyer.

“ Some people use WAY too much fragrance which makes being around them very uncomfortable. She said she doesn’t have a sense of smell, so she should take it as constructive feedback that she should use less next time,” commented one.

“I’m allergic to most artificial fragrances and even with strong antihistamines I’d have been sneezing all over her for this entire flight. Maybe she should consider what other people are going through?” wrote another.

One diplomatic user wrote: “It’s a good point, but telling her only hurt her feelings. She couldn’t smell less strong once it’s on there and she’s on the plane. Hopefully she’ll learn from the experience and will take it easy next time.”

But many leapt to the woman’s defence.

“I 100 per cent get OP’s [the original poster’s] frustration, but I’m not sure what she expected the Perfume Bandit to do. This is like telling someone that they smell bad on the plane. The smell may be offensive, but can they change it?” replied one.

“The flight was only one hour long — at the very least you could have mentioned it politely at the end of the flight,” suggested another.

“You propose the idea that moving seats might have hurt her more — trust me, what you did was more hurtful. Please talk to the flight attendant and switch seats next time.”

It’s not the first time Reddit has become heated over an aviation situation.

In April one woman lit up the forums with a Reddit tale of how she broke up with her boyfriend at the airport over his family’s decision to book him into first class and her into economy.

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