SWISS flight forced to land in Frankfurt due to bad smelling cockpit

SWISS flight forced to land in Frankfurt due to bad smelling cockpit

It's never fun to see that your flight is cancelled or delayed. It's arguably even worse if your plane is forced to divert or return to the airport once you are in the air, especially if it is for a petty-sounding reason. Therefore, it can be assumed that passengers on SWISS flight LX391 to Zurich last Friday were left fuming, after a bad smell in the cockpit forced them to land in Frankfurt, over 340 kilometres away from their intended destination.

Foul odour forces SWISS flight to land in Germany

According to the Swiss newspaper 20 minuten, as the plane was making its way to Zurich from Manchester in the UK, the pilots started to detect a very unpleasant smell coming from somewhere in the cockpit - although SWISS is yet to confirm the nature of the smell itself. 

For safety reasons, the pilots broadcast the code 7700, used to indicate an emergency. The plane was swiftly rerouted and landed in Frankfurt in Germany. According to a statement from SWISS, the plane landed safely in the German airport, and the 113 passengers and five crew members were never in any danger.

Passengers delivered to Zurich by train

As Frankfurt is "only" 340 kilometres away from Zurich, instead of new flights, most passengers were re-routed on long-distance rail journeys back to the Swiss city, a journey of around four hours. So far, SWISS has declined to say why the cockpit smelt so badly.

However, this isn’t the first time a SWISS flight has been affected by a foul smell in the cockpit. According to Air Live, a SWISS flight from London to Zurich on November 7, 2021, was forced to return to Heathrow 30 minutes after takeoff “due to [a] dirty socks smell in the cockpit."

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer



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