Boyke Ledy Watra, a journalist from Indonesia's news agency Antara, happened to be on the flight and reported that several passengers were arguing with the flight attendants that nearly led to a fight.
The Sriwijaya Air plane was delayed for an hour at Bengkulu, south west of Sumatra, when passengers complained of the fruit's overpowering smell.
After some debate between passengers and the airline's ground staff and cabin crew, the airline relented, delaying the 10:50 a.m. flight from Bengkulu to Jakarta for an hour to remove the durian fruit from the cargo hold.
The airline defended its decision to load durian on the plane but said that going forward it would investigate other methods of transporting the fruit to keep from disrupting passengers. That took nearly an hour and 2 tons were removed, but at the end of it, the plane took off from Bengkulu in Sumatra.
Following the incident, Sriwajiya Air said the airline was within its rights to carry the fruit in cargo.
"If you've smelled a durian even once, you probably remember it", Smithsonian.com once wrote.
Sriwijaya spokeswoman Retri Maya said the durian had been properly loaded into the plane.
A Facebook post from one passenger claims the smell had already filled the aircraft when they started boarding, which led him to complain to a member of cabin crew. Unsatisfied, Zidane rallied his fellow fliers.
Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian.
Considered the "king of fruits" in many South-east Asian countries, the distinctive odour of durian is very divisive - food writer Richard Sterling once described it as "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".
The company then went on to say that it was normal practice for Indonesian airlines to carry durian in the hold, "as long as [the durian] is packed well and enclosed in the cargo according to standard operating procedure".