Alitalia has fallen on hard times lately. Business is down, morale is low and last week, Italy’s government had to approve a takeover bid by Air France & KLM to help bail out their ailing national airline.
I put forth a few possible causes for their demise in an article last week, but perhaps I was being too generous. Perhaps, rather, it’s because they’re idiots.
Case in point: earlier last week, an Alitalia cargo flight en route from Milan to Miami suddenly diverted to Boston‘s Logan airport. The crew, completely outfitted in oxygen masks and reporting “toxic fumes,” safely landed and turned the aircraft over safety inspectors in haz-mat mode, expecting the worst.
Indeed, cargo manifests indicated several toxic chemicals were on board. But upon closer inspection, investigators found that all of those were packaged properly and safely. The real source of the noxious fumes? Onions. Ten thousand pounds of minced onions.
It took three days to sort out the ruckus, fill out the paperwork and get the aircraft back on its way.
As for the onions, they were placed on a “No Fly List” then put on trucks bound for Florida.