Four Alaska Airlines crew members were taken to the hospital Wednesday, February 27, after a flight travelling from Chicago to Seattle made an unscheduled landing at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport due to a foul cabin odor. Two other crew members and two passengers were medically evaluated at the airport.

Most of the flying public has no idea that the air that we breathe on commercial aircraft is pulled in through the engines. The air can become contaminated by aviation jet engine oil causing a foul odor and serious illness. If you or someone you know has been exposed to contaminated aircraft air please contact the FAA and complain. Please also see your doctor and bring this medical protocol.

The Boeing 737 had 144 passengers and 6 crew members on board. The source of the smell on Flight 51 has yet to be identified, but airport spokesman Patrick Hogan reported the odor smelled like burnt plastic. Hogan said people on the flight were having difficulty breathing.

One passenger reported to KARE 11 news station in Minneapolis “The flight attendants were pretty concerned. They all sorta went to the front of the plane to huddle together and I think they talked to the pilots to figure it out. So it was pretty obvious within a few minutes that something was up.”

The plane was removed from service, pending an investigation, and passengers were rebooked on different flights to Seattle.

On Tuesday, February 26, another Alaska Airlines flight was diverted back to Seattle due to a cabin odor while flying to Orange County. Three crew members from that plane were taken to a hospital for a precautionary evaluation.

Pilots and flight attendants are exposed to fumes on a frequent basis. By alerting the FAA to these fume events we can help bring attention to them.