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Travel

In An Aircraft Evacuation? Leave Your Luggage!

Passengers flee a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 with their luggage
Passengers flee a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 with their luggage

I cannot stress this enough. Leave. Your. Luggage. Can you hear me? Did you read it right? Leave your luggage. Leave it. Go.

You’re on an airplane that’s going through an emergency situation and an evacuation is underway. It could be a water landing, a fire, smoke in the cabin.. anything, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Get out! Though lately, it’s been Oh, let me grab my luggage and make my way to the evacuation slide. No!

The flight attendants are screaming commands at you “Leave Everything! Come this way! Jump!” (or something to that effect, each airline has different commands because they are not federally universal ― and I believe they should be ― another topic for another day) because there is an urgency. If you haven’t realized it before you should now. Take note following Emirates flight 521’s fire-filled evacuation. Time was crucial, the plane exploded, thankfully after everyone was off, but it could have happened at any time.

To those people who reach for your luggage, I dare you to ask yourself. Is it worth it? The seconds you wasted grabbing your bag could have been the last few seconds you have to make it out alive. How valuable are your clothes, computer and “material things” to you?

You also can cost other people their lives. The hold up you cause in the aisle is costing the people behind you the last few seconds they may have left. Your bag could also puncture the evacuation slide, causing everyone to be stuck on board, seeking an alternative way out (or jumping from extreme heights) in a situation where time is non-existent.

If this article sounds like a rant, it is. This video has me infuriated.

Smoke has filled the cabin. The plane is on fire. People are trying to get out.. and some, well.. they’re grabbing their bags and holding up the evacuation process. You even hear the flight attendants saying:

Leave your bags behind! Jump! Jump and slide! Jump and slide!

I speak as a former flight attendant: Flight attendants are trained for these situations. They re-train every year to ensure it’s fresh in their minds. Their goal is to get you off the plane if this very situation were to occur. Usually, you’re taught you have 90 seconds to get everyone off. They care more about your life then you do if you choose to take time out of saving yourself to grab your bag. Some airlines event instruct the crew to grab your luggage from you (if they can) and throw it aside and not allow them on the slide. That’s more time wasted.

The crew on this flight should be commended as heroes. They did their job and got everyone out safely even though some passengers simply were ignoring their orders and not paying attention.

What is it going to take to have passengers NOT reach for their things? Fines? Lockable overhead bins? Imprisonment for attempted homicide? I mean, that’s what it is.

Thanks to the crew’s timely evacuation the passengers on board this flight were lucky, but next could end very differently if you don’t heed the warning to: Leave your luggage.

And I’ll leave you with this photo. This was the state of the plane moments after everyone was evacuated. How important does your luggage look now?

Aftermath of the fire on-board Emirates 521
Aftermath of the fire on-board Emirates 521
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