Virgin Trains to spend £3.5m removing toilet smell from corridors

Virgin Trains to spend £3.5m removing toilet smell from corridors

Virgin Trains has announced it will spend £3.5m on refurbishing its entire fleet of trains to remove the bad smell coming from its toilets.

The odour, which has led to passenger complaints to the company, comments on social media and to newspapers, has been dubbed the "Pendolino pong", which pervades large sections of the trains.

All of the 56 electric Pendolino trains and 21 diesel-powered Voyagers need to be treated.

A Virgin spokesperson told the Sunday Times: "Although toilet smells on our trains have attracted comment over the years, it's worth setting that in context.

"The most recent National Passenger Survey showed satisfaction with our on-board toilet facilities significantly higher, 60 per cent, than the average for long-distance operators, 52 per cent."

According to the Independent, the smell is believed to come from the air conditioning inlets placed too close to the toilets, which are spreading foul-smelling air throughout the trains.

In 2007, Virgin Trains tackled another problem with its toilets when passengers were unable to use them due to their futuristic style and panel of buttons.

The train company had to refit the toilets after people were failing to lock the doors properly, getting locked in and having their distressed messages to the guard broadcast to the entire train.

Silliest ever passenger requests
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Virgin Trains to spend £3.5m removing toilet smell from corridors

Yes, according to a survey of Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew, this is the most frequent mad request they get... seems that a worrying number of us have a lot to learn when it comes to the basic science of aviation...

Speaking about their weirdest passenger requests to, one steward said a passenger was worried about Heathrow Airport being so close to Windsor Castle as the plane was coming into London and asked if cabin crew could arrange for the planes not to fly over the castle in the future in case the Queen found it a nuisance. What a thoughtful flyer!

One Virgin Atlantic crew member was asked by a very famous celebrity, who pressed their call bell, to fix their hair. The flight attendant agreed to the unusual request and headed back to the galley to get a hair brush, comb and small can of hairspray. When he returned armed with the hairdressing equipment, the star roared with laughter and explained it was the AIR they wanted fixed and pointed overhead! The poor steward turned on the air vent and crept back to the galley. Cringe...

Er, we're hoping the passenger was't serious about this request. Another passenger asked: "Please can the captain stop the turbulence?". 

While flying into Nice in the South of France, one cheeky passenger asked a stewardess if the pilot could 'go a bit further down the coast so we can have a look at Monaco,' she told

We know they have some luxurious cabins but we would have liked to see the face of the flight attendant who was asked by a passenger where they could take a shower on a Virgin Atlantic flight.

A playroom, indeed. Sometimes, passengers appear to forget they're 30,000ft in the air.

Yes, someone really did ask a Virgin flight attendant this question. 

A stewardess told that a traveller asked her: 'Why am I getting such a poor mobile phone signal? This flight is going to be really long and I’ll be bored if I can’t use my smart phone.' Oh dear!

One steward told flight attendants' forum that one cheeky passenger asked them to get his blanket. He said: 'I once got asked mid flight if I could nip down into the hold and get a passenger his blanket out of his suitcase. After a full description of the bag I then explained this wasn't possible, to which he insisted he was going to go instead.'

This request may have been understandable if it came from a three-year old. But it didn't. It came from a fully grown adult.

This strange request came from a passenger on another Virgin flight... we're still trying to find out if said object was ever found....


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