If the Plane is on Fire and Smoke Fills the Cabin, Leave Your Carry-On Bag Behind

To be filled under “common sense but we still have to tell you anyway,” let’s go through this situation: you see smoke fill a cabin on your routine flight that’s going to make an emergency landing. The overhead oxygen masks falls from the ceiling. The flight attendants are going through their emergency procedures that they train for hundreds of hours. The cabin doors open and the inflatable slides are deployed. Finally, the emergency lights in the aisles are illuminated and are guiding you to the doors. What do you do?

A) Put on your oxygen max and then those of children
B) Listen to your highly-trained flight attendant for instructions
C) Head towards the exits in an orderly fashion just like the wacky instruction video tells you to
D) Grab your jacket, your purse and whatever is in the overhead locker and head for the exit.

A, B and C seem like perfectly sensible answers. Guess what some people did on that Emirates plane that caught on fire in Dubai last week?


Sigh. Yeah. The engine is about the explode and people are fiddling with overhead lockers.

While all 300+ passengers and crew were evacuated unharmed, it could have been bad. If somebody were to catch on fire and die because some doofus had to get his or her 22x14x9 rolling carry-on that’s filled easily replaceable clothes, phone chargers, laptops, under 3oz. liquids and shitty duty-free shopping, that would be bad.

“Passengers are told not to waste time getting luggage, but they just don’t listen,” fire safety expert Ed Galea told the BBC. “This is not unusual, it happens in most cases. Often they don’t appreciate the absolute urgency of their situation. They don’t realize that every second can literally make the difference between life and death.” Agreed, I call them tourists.

If you remember the Titanic movie, there were passengers taking their luggage with them as the ship sank into the icy water. If only they knew Bill Paxton would recover it a century later.

Experts suggests locking the overhead lockers in emergencies or when the play is taxing for that fools don’t get up early. Good luck with that.

There are several reasons why you should leave your shit behind when the plane, train or bus is on fire. They are all pretty obvious:

— it’s going to slow you down
— bulky carry-ons are going to crowd the aisles
— a heavy bag will make it difficult to slide down the fun inflatable slide or even break the slide
— your possessions can be replaced
— your possessions can also be returned to you if the whole plane doesn’t go up in flames

I’m trying to think what I pack in my rolling duffle that I use to travel. It’s basic stuff like electronic chargers, books, sneakers, camera, printouts of my itinerary, small purchases and maybe my laptop if I’m not using it. My passport wallet with my money is usually on me or in the pouch in front of my seat. Even that can be replaced. Losing money would suck, but you know what also sucks? Being dead.

Let’s KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and GTFO (Get The Fuck Out) when the plane is on fire.

One thought on “If the Plane is on Fire and Smoke Fills the Cabin, Leave Your Carry-On Bag Behind

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