Filed Under: Emirates, Videos

Earlier today I wrote about the Emirates 777 that crash landed in Dubai. It’s my understanding that all the passengers were evacuated safely, though I’ve heard reports that a firefighter died in the rescue efforts. That’s incredibly tragic, but when pictures of the incident came out earlier today, I assumed it could have been a lot worse.


We now have footage from inside the plane as the evacuation took place, and it looks pretty terrifying:

But what stands out to me the most is the incredible selfishness and/or cluelessness of these passengers, or perhaps both. Sadly this seems to be the case every single time video emerges of such an evacuation.

As you’ll hear in every safety briefing ever, in the event of an emergency evacuation, leave all carry-on items behind. Why is this so important?

  • It slows down the evacuation process, and in a situation like this, you never know what could happen to the plane (the fire could spread, the plane could blow up, etc.)
  • Carry-ons could rupture the slide, causing injuries to others, or possibly even preventing them from evacuating

Simply put, by taking your carry-on with you in an emergency evacuation you’re selfishly putting the value of temporary access to your personal belongings ahead of others’ lives.

Now, this was a flight from India and Dubai, and I suspect many passengers didn’t know better and weren’t frequent flyers, so I’m not saying any/all passengers had the intent of risking others’ lives by taking their belongings. Furthermore, even if people had heard the safety briefing, a lot of people might not understand why they shouldn’t take their carry-on with them.

At the same time, in the video you can repeatedly hear the crew saying to leave carry-on items behind, and it largely goes ignored.

I wrote about this same topic last year after a plane had to make an emergency evacuation and passengers reacted in a similar way, and was amazed by how many commenters said they’d to the same thing, because their belongings are “important.”

So while I doubt peoples’ behavior will change anytime soon, that won’t stop me from reminding people of this. Fortunately this evacuation ended (mostly) well, though there have been plenty of deaths over the years due to slow aircraft evacuations, and I suspect there will be more in the future.

(Tip of the hat to Rene’s Points)

  1. What about the person filming the video? He’s not exactly helping the evacuation process speed along either.

  2. I hate to say it but I think your headline forgets that maybe to some people their carry on is more important than your life. I remember when quite a few people tried to defend taking luggage out in an evacuation last time. But in a fire situation seconds could matter. If I was in that situation I probably would not help cause I would be yelling at people grabbing stuff to get out of the plane. If they were in my way trying to retrieve an item…well let’s just say they wouldn’t get that item as I would be very forceful in getting them to evacuate. I could see how if the timing was different, and the fire spread more rapidly, your decision to get a bag out of a bin would kill someone.

  3. Absolute idiots. You’re on a burning aircraft with potentially ruptured fuel tanks and potentially tons of fuel still on board, and you stop to get your carry-on. Get out alive or stop to get your bags and cause you and/or others to burn alive….. So so stupid.

  4. What does being a frequent flier have to do with anything, really? It’s not like frequent fliers are commonly in plane crashes/accidents and have to evacuate planes. Pretty much nobody, frequent flier or not (or flight crew for that matter), has experience in these situations, so to suggest that frequent fliers understand the dynamics and risks of this situation better than an inexperienced flier doesn’t really make much sense. Plus, as you mentioned, the cabin crew is instructing everyone to leave bags behind and they are ignoring them.

  5. @ Bob — Not saying that is an excuse, but rather that at least frequent flyer here the phrase during the safety video hundreds of times, so are at least familiar with it. Meanwhile someone who has never flown before might not be as familiar with it.

  6. @lucky Fair enough, that’s very true. I just think that frequent fliers are probably just about as likely to pull this stuff in these situations as infrequent fliers. There’s smoke pouring into the cabin, which is a pretty big clue that it’s a serious situation, and people are still going for their bags, which just goes to show the extent people will go to ignore obvious warning signs to pursue selfish ends.

  7. If someone lost their life (passenger, crew, rescuer), those who took carry-on items off the plane should be held accountable.

  8. Who is the idiot that has time to hold his phone and record a video when the plane is bursting in flames?

  9. Nothing wrong with a woman taking her purse or a man taking his satchel that is already on his or her person, but roller boards are out of the question. Maybe the airlines should have a locking feature on the overhead bins that deploy automatically in the event of a crash.

  10. Just wait for it…

    Any minute there will be a post from somebody whose entire business is on their laptop and besides being too stupid to have a backup of all that priceless data also thinks saving it is more important than the life of the folks behind them trying to escape with the smoke and flames of a burning aircraft.

  11. Queue up commenters within this post who will now start rationalizing why “their” stuff is really important: “My dog’s diarrhea medication is in there” and “I just worked on my business presentation for 3 hours”.

  12. I think the film was taken by a child.

    But this just reinforced with me why I never fly coach. Yikes. To many seats!

  13. Boeing/Airbus should install a locking mechanism that would prevent overhead compartments from opening in the event of an emergency. Then we’d only have to worry about the personal items under the seat in front of you.

  14. I just hope that the time wasted collecting bags didn’t stop the firefighters from putting out the fire that caused the explosion.

  15. @Ben, the statement “Now, this was a flight from India and Dubai, and I suspect many passengers didn’t know better and weren’t frequent flyers” is an openly biased and condescending (borderline racist) statement about an entire country and its people which reflects very poorly on you and your foggy view of the world. The flight was from Thiruvanthapuram which is in the state of Kerala in southern India, which has a large number of blue collar workers who make a living in Dubai and shuttle frequently between Dubai and southern India. I would definitely criticize their behavior as well but we need to understand that these carry-ons probably contained documents which if lost could leave these people stranded in a foreign country, known for draconian immigration laws with very little help. Yes they were probably being selfish but you need to do one of the following two before publicly judging others: a) dig deeper into the perspective or b) not judge at all.

  16. Selfish people with lack of common sense exits everywhere people. It does not matter the race, country and social status one comes from…

  17. “Now, this was a flight from India and Dubai, and I suspect many passengers didn’t know better”
    I don’t see how India or Dubai is linked to passengers not knowing better. If it were a plane between two “developed” cities, many passengers wouldn’t know better either.

  18. “The flight was from Thiruvanthapuram which is in the state of Kerala in southern India, which has a large number of blue collar workers who make a living in Dubai and shuttle frequently between Dubai and southern India.”

    Not to mention it’s the capital of the state of Kerala and probably sees frequent business and NGO travel as well. I think you could assume a fair amount of infrequent fliers on any given flight in any country, maybe outside of BA1 or other such biz commuter flights. It’s a peculiar generalization to make.

  19. I really think Boeing and Airbus should create a system that locks the overhead bins during emergencies. The behavior of the passengers really could have put people’s lives on the line.

  20. I have evacuated from a plane on fire (fortunately put out quickly and did NOT explode), passengers KNEW there was a fire, and still grabbed their personal stuff. Even several passengers I knew were military aircrew. Boggled my mind. Had they been between me and nearest emergency they would have been pushed along without their bag OR bowled over if they resisted. I will help others around me get out. To a point. (I was actually one of the LAST people out because of where I was sitting…. have ALWAYS pressed for an exit row or aisle seat since).

  21. Why is anyone filming in an evacuation?

    These are the same kind of people who get up and walk down the aisles to get their bags when the plane is still taxiing down the runway.

    How do airlines get people to listen to the emergency guidelines?

  22. Ben,

    Agree with your point of not going for bags in an emergency, but i’m confused by what you mean by this statement:

    “Now, this was a flight from India and Dubai, and I suspect many passengers didn’t know better”

  23. F’ no. I’d be jumping over the seats and getting my behind out of there. Screw all these people.

  24. Absolutely no reason to link the behavior of the passengers to their nationality. Ruined the entire post. Try and be a little more grown up! This blog isn’t your living room, it’s a public space.

  25. Ben, your perspective is severely limited. You have no idea what it’s like to end up without documents or money in a foreign country for a citizen of a “third world” country. If you are from North America or Europe – no problem, just an inconvenience, to get new documents and access to cash. But if you are not from a “developed” part of the world – you are pretty much screwed. I can totally see how a carryon can be worth more than life in such a situation.

  26. My passport, backup hard drive and my camera is always in my lap, always goes with me. Emergency or not. It takes up little space and would not be in anyone’s way. People should think ahead and not store those critical items far from them.

  27. I just can’t believe the number of people who are so self-absorbed as to not understand that in an emergency, people panic. When people panic, they do a lot of irrational things. It’s easy to stand outside the plane and criticize. I just can’t imagine that most people would think calmly and rationally about the situation.

    I’m not saying anyone *should* have been standing the in the aisle blocking others from exiting the aircraft — just that I’m not callous enough to look down from my high horse on people who were in a situation with a stress level beyond what most of us will ever experience in our lives. To be as condescending as some people are being shows at least as much lack of compassion and empathy for others as you think those folks are showing for their fellow passengers.

    I *can* imagine someone panicking about not having their passport or wallet as they leave the burning plane. I’m not saying that the “right” decision is to go digging through your bag and blow up and die in looking for it, but I wouldn’t know where to start if I were on the ground outside the plane watching it blow up knowing that I left my passport and credit cards on it. The rational, thousands-of-miles-from-danger me is sure that I’d figure out what to do and I’d be happy to be alive to have the opportunity to figure it out — but, again, I can understand how someone could be faced with a moment of panic and make a bad decision. I just feel bad for how terrified they must have all been.

    I can’t imagine. Horrible. Scary. Awful. Thank goodness everyone made it out.

  28. @echino, “I can totally see how a carryon can be worth more than life in such a situation”? Whose perspective is severely limited?

    Passport and money fit in your pockets. I suggest you put them there next time you fly.

  29. Where are those “we’re here for your safety” professional flight attendants during this mess? I don’t hear them ordering people to leave their bags. Frankly, the headline should be: My Life is More Important Than Your Carryon

    The people who perish in these situations are probably not the ones who left with their stuff.

    Heard the Fire Crew took five minutes to arrive. Given that they are located at the airport that’s unacceptable. This could have been a lot worse.

  30. I keep a small purse under the seat in front of me and would probably sling it around my shoulders as I left because I have read too many stories of people being herded off planes and then having massive issues getting information, rebookings etc because they don’t have ID with them. I would never take a rolling suitcase or even a backpack, but if my purse is in front of me, I’m going to grab it. I think anything that you need to grab from the overhead is off limits.

  31. @Donna, you CAN indeed hear the crew in the background giving those instructions, and the fact that everyone made it out alive is a testament that they are there for passenger safety. Evacuations are made more difficult and people do die because they choose not to follow those instructions.

  32. I agree with Beth. I usually have a small purse inside my diaper bag with all of our important travel documents (ID, passports, money). It wouldn’t be too difficult to sling it over my shoulder as we deplaned.

    I’ve also often thought a lot about what I would do in this situation if I were traveling with my three young kids without my husband. I often travel with an ergo strapped around my waist and leave it there throughout the flight. I would like to think that in the event of an emergency, it would be something that would be priceless to have since I only have two hands to hold on to kiddos and I could strap one of them on to me.

    Just a terrifying situation all around though…

  33. Guys is the video real? Seat cushions and head rest paper does not look like Emirates.. Never seen them in red, did you notice?

  34. @Mike. Your right, I didn’t play the video long enough to hear the crew telling people to leave their bags. My mistake. Thanks.

  35. @Erica, and everyone else, stop saying a purse is ok because you can sling it. Leave all your belongings means leave all your belongings. If it doesn’t fit in your pocket it stays behind. A purse can snag on a seat armrest or somewhere else as you run out and stop you or slow you down (and everyone behind you) and in an evacuation (especially a fire) every second matters. To be honest that’s something I least expect from someone who would be traveling with her 3 kids. Your purse isn’t worth your 3 kids’ lives.

  36. @Donna, even if it wasn’t in the video that’s not evidence it wasn’t said. A plane is pretty big.

  37. I don’t know about the timing and the fire crew may not have been ready by time the evacuation was complete, but if they were ready and had to wait for the evacuation to finish, those selfish people may have killed the firefighter who died.
    For the person who questioned the fire crew response time, they received no warning prior to the crash (there was no distress call) and they were entering what could have been an active runway potentially endangering another aircraft, so they waited for clearance from the tower to proceed, then they had to deal with the passengers who had already evacuated and would not want to endanger them further (as happened at San Francisco where the fire crew ran over one of the passengers).

  38. Anyone here saying that its easy for someone who belongs to a first world country to lose their belongings and just have it replaced is delusional. Its a TIRING HASSLE to lose ANYONES documents. I dont care where you’re from. You have an embassy, use it.

    At the end of the day, my life is worth more than ANY document in the world. Screw “stranded”, I’d rather be stranded than dead or responsible for someone not getting out cause I was too worried about having to drag my ass to the embassy and get new docs.

  39. I absolutely agree with Roger (Roger says: August 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm), yes what they were doing does not make sense and seems stupid for most of us on this site but this article is plain racist and Ben has absolutely no clue about the difficulties these people face.

  40. Maybe they should have an auto locking mechanism so over head compartments cannot be opened during an evacuation.

  41. OMG! No Nick with his “near death” Christians. Is he still unemplyed – or as he likes to call it “on a long term sabatical”?

  42. Leaving your ‘important’ stuff under the seat in front of you, is not much help after a ‘landing’ like this. As you can tell by the overhead panels that have spewed open, this landing was ROUGH! Your purse and underneath the seat stuff will be several seats ahead of you, or lodged under that rail in front. Just get the f%#k out! Climb over the seats/people grabbing their stuff if you have to.

  43. I’ve flown globally for forty plus years and I’d say Lucky’s comment about India wasn’t racist, just the facts. Cultures are different, the chaos is known in that country with frequent stories about people being trampled to death. There is no organization worthy of the name in India, and to be fair it’s rampant throughout the second (eastern Europe, Latin America), third and fourth worlds (yes, fourth world, think Congo, Rwanda, Uganda).

  44. Lucky, you should do a post on what happens when all of you belongings, money, and ID are stuck on a burning plane.

    I’d be interested to know whose problem it becomes to get people sorted and what the next steps are.

    If people knew, maybe they’d be smart enough to leave their luggage alone and get off the plane quicker in an emergency. (Although these may be the same people who pack whole raw chickens in their suitcases, as I’ve seen while watching “Border Security”, and they don’t seem to believe it’s possible to survive away from home, anyway.)

    Otherwise, I think locked compartments may be a great idea!

  45. I think the law should be that any item that goes down the slide gets confiscated and destroyed.

  46. @anyone who defends the reckless, stupid behavior of these passengers – you would change your tune if it was you stuck between the exit and an idiot with a suitcase. They may face hardship without their passports or even their belongings but they get a chance to live another day and they won’t kill someone in the process of retrieving whatever it is that is in the overhead bins. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior.

  47. No one is saying it’s a walk in the park to have to replace your belongings, including valuable documents, but NONE of these belongings is more valuable than a human life.

  48. That is why I use a bulletproof/fireproof/waterproof/floating safe as my carry-on where I put all my important documents, money, etc… I stuck it on the over head bin and in case of an emergency I don’t even care about it since I know all my belongings will be safe inside.

  49. The safest move: don’t fly Emirates. This one is shaping up to be an epic pilot botch job, like Asiana in SFO only with less loss of life. The plane was attempting a go around after needing a reminder from the tower to put the gear down.

  50. What else do you expect from countries where we/they wont even board or deplane or follow queue in a civilized manner, unless it is enforced by police or security or staff. It’s a regional cultural thing, sucks for other cultures but not for us/them as its normal way of life.

    If only these words by former Indian President is followed true to practice, they will reflect in your attitude in such situations:

    “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”

  51. This makes me wish that when the emergency exits are opened that the overhead bins would automatically lock.

  52. @Pat I would prefer the chaos of India anytime to the “All is in Order” attitude of the Germans who were perfectly willing to gas their fellow citizens to death as long as they were following orders . Hitler was an organizer par excellence and the Nazi party was a very disciplined organization. The SS would never have stopped to take their luggage in a plane crash. They were very good at following orders.

    Stereotypes and racism can run both ways

  53. Why do people get so offended by Lucky´s comment about the flight coming from India? I have been to India many times, and I´m always annoyed by passengers from India. Business class, economy class, it does´t matter. No manners what so ever. A stereotype is a stereotype for a reason.

  54. Lucky – Interesting that you object to people grabbing carry ons (agreed – dumb), but you post the video of perhaps the biggest idiot blocking the isle filming. You used the idiot’s video for your benefit. Really, you should have said their is video but you are not going to post it because it promotes people doing the wrong thing. You gave him part of his 15 minutes of fame. Love you Lucky, but you just became part of the problem.

  55. A racist, ill informed post re the origin and destination and the implied lack of sophistication of the passengers. The deafening silence by Ben is LOUD. Much like Trump – don’t apologize and carry on. Shame.

  56. @Lars – because Indian culture has nothing to do with this story. It would have been the same wherever in the world it happened, and there was no need for the comment in the article.

    @Pat – screw you, man.

  57. @John “I think the law should be that any item that goes down the slide gets confiscated and destroyed.”

    The way it works now is that anyone that breaks the rules, takes his rollaboard, endangers the lives of everyone nearby, and risks ruining the slide gets rewarded with the free use of his bag. He doesn’t have to wait for fire crews and possibly miss any chance to avoid days of delay because of missing documents and cash.

    The guy who takes his bag off the plane is a big winner.

    The guy who leaves his behind could lose it entirely or maybe it will get robbed by emergency crews or maybe he’ll wait for days.

    The guy who follows the rules and acts to save lives is a big loser.

    People don’t want to be big losers. The system rewards people who do the wrong thing. So people pay attention and decide to do the wrong thing.

    If you really want evacuations to work, take John’s advice and start confiscating and destroying bags. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem and people should keep taking their bags off the plane in evacuations. You’re making them losers if they don’t.

  58. Yet the empirical evidence from this & the BA Las Vegas 777 fire both suggest that grabbing your carry-on doesn’t hinder your exit or increase the risk to safety.
    However I sure as hell won’t be grabbing mine. And if the congestion in the aisle is too much I *will* be climbing over the seatbacks to get to the nearest available exit – this is advice passed from the RAF which I shall forever remember & share.

  59. @DT. Agree. As a frequent (and satisfied) reader of this blog of Indian background, I’m deeply offended by Ben’s statement regarding the origin and destination of this flight as it relates to the “type” of fliers. I want to give the benefit of the doubt that Ben simply assumed these fliers were not frequent fliers, and not that their origin/destination AND the frequency of their flying contributed to their reckless decisions. However, either way, it is offensive — i.e., Ben made an assumption about frequency of travelers based on their origin/destination and/or you assumed the origin of the passengers (regardless of frequency of travel) contributed to their actions (the latter is racism — intentional or not).

  60. I am an Indian citizen myself, and I understand the importance of these evacuation rules. I do not know if Emirates does their safety announcements in the regional language. I do ANU-LGW-LHR-BLR once in 6 months, and they do not have announcements in the regional Indian language. How do you follow that which you have not understood?

  61. In a case of emergency many people does not think rationally, or maybe they know airlines will not pay for damages without a long fight – in fact on this flight the tower had to remind the pilots too lowering the gear, i guess landing gear sown before touchdown is 101 in landing.

    And for the ignorants the film was done by a mother with 2 children, maybe i go out on a limb when i say she didn’t block anything she just wanted her children out – i see many people texting, eating and driving on the same time so why not film a emergency or maybe she was hunting Tikchu and Pupybu in Pokémon.

    And her video does give a good insight on how people are acting, and furthermore it can be used in investigation.

    But then again yall now better

  62. To those of you offended by my “assumptions,” I think you’re overthinking this, or perhaps I didn’t express myself clearly.

    My point was simply that the average person in India flies less frequently than the average person in the US, which is where the previous evacuation videos I posted were from. While the aviation sector in India is growing nicely, it’s not to the level of the US yet. That’s a simple fact.

    I was attempting to give the passengers more of the benefit of the doubt than in the US. There are many infrequent flyers in the US, and I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. There are even more infrequent flyers in India, so I’d give them even more of a benefit of the doubt.

    Furthermore, Emirates safety videos screen in English and Arabic, so for many of the passengers the safety video wasn’t screened in their first language.

    I’m sorry to those offended who interpreted what I said differently…

  63. From the NY Times:

    “Passengers and crew from EK521 made it inside a nearby terminal, with at least 10 requiring hospital care. By 4 p.m., some passengers onboard the flight began leaving, vouchers in their hands for hotels as they entered waiting taxis. Several said they needed assistance from the Indian Consulate as they had lost all their travel documents, but they remained grateful to be alive.

    “See, our belongings are gone that’s no problem. Our family is safe,” Kochuktty said. “We have saved our life. Lord had mercy on us.””


  64. Thank goodness all the passengers and crew survived, or we might not have this travesty to scrutinize and bicker over less than a day later.

  65. You are SO ill informed. Define – average person in India or the US for that matter.What statistics do you have to show the frequency of air travel for an average of any nationality? Plus the back handed apology – you are self destructing – the TRUMP WAY. Your comments were not misinterpreted – they were just wrong and you are digging a hole deeper for yourself. In these cases, an unreserved apology works best.

  66. @DT if I asked you a simple question what percentage of the US population has been on a flight and what percentage of the population of India has been on a flight which one would be greater. If I asked how many flights per person per year which one would be greater. He is not trying to make this a race (Trump) thing. He is just stating the truth. 23.6 percent of India lives on less than 1.25 a day source the World Bank. Air and space magazine had an article That addressed the issue. Only 18 percent of the US has never been on a flight. Somehow I feel as the vast majority of the population in India below the international poverty line has not as well. It’s called an educated hypothesis which I guess maybe you don’t understand. If you response is define average look at average incomes in each country and you probably could look up passenger statistics as well.

  67. @Roger

    Actually there are 100s of flights operated by LCCs used by unskilled workers. These are probably middle class workers who can afford EK O&D tickets. EK charges premium on India-DXB O&D to promote connecting traffic. I would hazard a guess some of these may even be employees EK Group and their families.

    It appears EK PR sent out an APB to all forums to clean up any comments about evacuation with bags.

  68. Another perspective on the story: Airlines have such god-awful customer service that nobody reasonably expects to get reimbursed in any reasonable timeframe for their possessions by the airline.

    I wonder if people would be more willing to leave laptops etc behind if the usual experience with airlines wasn’t “3 hours on hold” and “letters are ignored”.

  69. I understood exactly what Lucky meant and didn’t take it as more than a fact. Most people in poor countries rarely fly, if ever, and are less informed to handle an emergency than most people in more economically advanced countries. That’s how I took the comment anyway. I don’t think it even called for an apology.

  70. Ha! @ Charles S – its neither an educated hypothesis nor a fact. No correlation exists between average incomes and passenger stats – simply because flying is NOT a luxury (especially in the developing world – primarily due to deregulation, huge population movements, poor road infrastructure and economic growth). Don’t make things up as you go along. OK, so you are a Ben fanboy – I get it. Nothing wrong with that – whats wrong are your numbers. India has 1.2B people and even if your dodgy numbers are to be believed – a HUGE % of the population (greater than the entire US population – adult and children) would fall in the middle class range and with airfares significantly LOWER than in the western world and other infrastructure more difficult to navigate – air travel is indeed de riguer. Oh, don’t lets facts get in way of your fanboy defense (Fox doesn’t for Trump, you are in good company)

  71. Lucky, no apology needed. In this day and age it is the “in” thing of those who are focused simply on being politically correct.
    Love the idea of locking overhead compartments! Eliminates at least half the issue.
    Common sense for fliers is simply- passport, ID, money and your phone all in your pockets! Everything else, stays behind. Anyone violating this should have it taken from them on the ground.
    I would hope never to fly on the same plane with the majority of people who post these comments.

  72. Best factoid I heard was your probability of survival dramatically increases when you count how many seats (infront & behind) you are from an exit before you take off. Do it every time and put my wallet and passport close to hand get the hell out of there.

  73. To put numbers to this argument, roughly 8 times as many passengers were carried in the US compared to India with roughly a quarter of the population, so at a superficial level, it can be estimated that an American is about 30 times as likely to take a flight as an Indian. These numbers are from 2015. The number of Indians taking flights has also been growing much faster than in the US, so a flight taking off from Indian is statistically extremely likely to have more first time flyers on it than one taking off from the US.
    Having said all that, from what I have seen from the LAS evacuation and this evacuation, being a first time flyer (assuming there were more on this flight) has an inverse relationship with grabbing your luggage. There were way more carry ons came off of that LAS flight than came off this one. If I wasn’t racially sensitive, I would suggest it is because people from western countries are more selfish and materialistic than those from India, but I won’t say that because I am not a racist!

  74. @DT I get it you don’t like to look up things. Cause I challenge you to prove me wrong. I can at least prove that 82 percent of Americans have flown and 52 percent have flew once in 2012. For the record percentage of population is the best for comparing countries. I mean seriously you could argue that India’s middle class is larger than the US but it’s definelty not by a percentage of population which is the gold standard. I can also prove that 23.6 percent of America does not live on less than 1.25 per day. I could site world bank data all day but I am sure you would just ignore it. Of course more Americans fly every year as a percentage of population that Indians. I feel very confident in that statement. Can you prove me wrong?

  75. @Roger
    I have to completely disagree. No one has to dig in deeper or understand any work/immigration struggles.
    This is a situation where it’s about life or death, your own and others. It potentially comes down to seconds. So anyone’s decision to grab anything, even a passport, can kill another person, if it just slows down the process by a few seconds. In that situation the only acceptable behavior is to try to save your own life and that of others. Nothing else. Period.

  76. “It’s the “in” thing of those who are focused simply on being politically correct.”

    Yep. P.C Principal to the rescue. Can’t let reality step on people’s safe space.

  77. Theres always someone on the internet getting outraged at anything on the internet. Reminds me of a dilbert joke where everything on tv is blocked (due to somebody getting offended) and the only programming allowed are weather reports.
    I am from India and i am not offended by anything lucky wrote

  78. While I’m a first-time commenter, I’m a long-time reader, and I find it hard to believe that Lucky’s comments were anything other than an – awkward – attempt at providing context to the situation. We should cut him some slack.

  79. When I fly my purse with important papers and my meds is always strapped to my body. Are you saying I should waste time taking it off before I evacuate in the case of emergency?

  80. Just a quick perspective…Indian people are know for their possessions of gold in its various forms…used as substiturptes for cash transactions….
    Whereas we warriors normally pack. Cloths and trinkets, they pack gold, diamonds and cash,
    As they have yet to experience the ‘plastic’ economy.
    I make no defense of their actions, only add a differing perspective…..

  81. In the video I can hear a person saying “Excuse me my laptop”.An Indian emigrant worker who is more concerned of his laptop than his life and the rest of the Pax. I ‘d give the benefit of the doubt to him for trying to retrieve his laptop as he is not aware of the gravity of such a situation as he actually don’t know any minute the plane could blow up.

    Not knowing to leave their belongings and run to their exits in an emergency has nothing to do with a persons nationality or whether he being a frequent flyer or not as this happens every time ie pax retrieving their bags before evacuating be it the case in Las Vegas where BA was evacuated or the Asiana crash landing in SFO. So to say pax from USA would act differently in such a situation than a pax from India is not right.

  82. I don’t understand. When the smallest thing goes wrong on a plane people scream their heads off, yet when it comes to evacuating a BURNING TUBE OF METAL FILLED WITH FLAMMABLE FUEL they stop to take their BAGS THAT HAVE A DECENT CHANCE OF BEING RECOVERED! This has nothing to do with experience of flying, isn’t it common sense that when there is a fire you get out? If some of these peoples homes were on fire, would they stop to take their toothbrush? What is it about airplanes that makes this situation different?

  83. Crew: All your bags are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time.
    Passengers: Take off every bag!!

    While it’s unlikely that the situation on Emirates played out like the script from Zero Wing, if your plane has just crash landed and is about to spontaneously combust at any moment, it might better serve you in the interest of self preservation to leave your belongings behind and stop live streaming your life. We’ll all be dead in the long run, but unless you’re prepared to cross the river Styx through a wall of flames, your Charon’s obol carry-on would be better turned to ash than you.

  84. Crew: All your bags are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time.
    Passengers: Take off every bag!!

    While it’s unlikely that the situation on Emirates played out like the script from Zero Wing, if your plane has just crash landed and is about to spontaneously combust at any moment, it might better serve you in the interest of self preservation to leave your belongings behind and stop live streaming your life. We’ll all be dead in the long run, but unless you’re prepared to cross the river Styx through a wall of flames, your Charon’s obol carry-on would be better turned to ash than you.

  85. Ben, I am sorry for all the hate you’re getting. As an a person of Indian origin who flies the ME3 to India, I am always astounded and even appalled by the behavior of the many of the Indian passengers on board as they seem to have little to no knowledge of flying etiquette and general rules. In the past, I have honestly tried to compensate for their transgressions by being extra nice to the cabin crew and airline staff. I am not sure how often the immigrant workers in the ME get to fly home but from the few documentaries and news reports I have watched it cannot be that often as the wages are low and the rules of travel are quite strict. The passengers who are connecting to/live in USA, Canada etc probably fly more often and probably know the rules better but they are probably in the minority. You don’t have to look only to LEDCs to know that income and the ability to travel positively correlate. That rule applies in MEDCs as well. But the difference between the cost of travel and the wage earnings is much lower in MEDCs and therefore more “affordable.”

  86. Really, does it matter at all? If you have crash landed and the doors have magically opened are you going to stand in the aisle and wait for someone to pull their laptop from the seat pocket or pull a carry on from the overhead? I’d be bounding over the seatbacks on my own way to the door. (if I could see it through the smoke).

    This is not the world of rational behavior, asking people to behave rationally is crazy. The USAir crash in the Hudson might be an anomaly, but there was no risk of fire there. And nobody is going to wheel their luggage through the Hudson. But still, take care of yourself and those closest to you is the proper response.

    It may sound selfish, but I may stop and look around (if I could see them) for someone who isn’t dragging a bag and does want to get off the plane, and then help them. But there is no way in this God’s world that I’m waiting in the aisle to get out the door. 🙂

  87. If it’s that important to you keep it in your pocket. If it don’t fit in your pocket, it can’t be that important.

  88. So many commenters forget that Dubai, and the UAE in general has a high population of Indian employees or “slaves” as they are. Their belongings and passports are stripped from them and given to their employer and they may only get them if they have permission to leave the country. Many don’t and never will. To them on a flight burning, these possessions are all they have. It’s sad and wrong to forget this.

  89. The problem with all human beings is that the selfishness is embedded in the DNA and all other things/lives are taken for granted ….
    belongings like passports must be strapped to oneself by use of hip pockets …
    In a normal senario it may sound stupid … But to always be prepared even in normal situations … Problems like this can be tacked with more ease …
    Education systems around the world must teach such problem solving techniques as these need to be practiced and cannot be mastered overnight …

  90. No carry ons full stop. That solves the problem.

    No amount of document hassle exceeds human life.

    If Boeing or Airbus starts locking compartments people will just spend more time yanking it open – even worse.

    People who take their bags should be banned from flying and perhaps punished regardless. But when $$$ is invoked nobody cares enough to do anything about it

  91. Seriously, there’s no reason to leave carry-one behind, right? I fly quite often but I would rather die if I try to evacuate without my bags, having a lonely and poor life from there.

  92. Nevermind the carry-ons and general chaos surrounding people grabbing carry-ons and opening overhead bins….

    How about that vertical video? It’s 2016…by now people should know how to use an iPhone! Similarly, I know India is a developing country, but seriously, no selfie sticks or phone tripods in those overhead bins? It would have made for a much more interesting video…not to mention all of the Likes you could get on social media!

  93. So what if the flight is from India. I believe that regardless of where a flight came from and regardless of nationalities of the passengers on board, some if not all will still try and collect their baggages even during emergencies.
    Variety of people and nationalities read your posts. You have to be very careful on how you phrase your statements.

  94. News flash Willy! If you go back to the pictures of the USA crash on the Hudson there were clearly a few who were shown with luggage! Lord knows what they planned on doing with it if they ended up IN the Hudson?! Perhaps use them as floatation devices??
    Obviously when disaster strikes all common sense goes straight out the window!

  95. Anne, you’re kidding! As I was saying, not rational behavior situation!!! Crazy and amazing, but that’s humans!!

  96. Lucky has no need to ‘apologize’ – for what, to whom? There is zip, nada in his piece which is racist or offensive. But in today’s Orwellian thought control society, he obviously failed to first pass his words on to the Pravda review panel. The present climate of hyper-sensitive political correctness, of the bizarre ‘micro aggression and safe spaces b.s. has led to many of these comments. Gen X, Y or simply babies in adult pants? From the on board video of the evacuation, it plainly shows that many of the passengers exhibited cultural behavior which they are from, viz. chaotic, undisciplined, pushy, panicky, selfish. Taking even two seconds to grab your luggage from the overhead bin could be the time it takes for one person to exit the emergency exit. Of course, as long as you got out with your precious carry on and are safe and sound on the ground, what does it matter if the stranger you delayed by your actions died. That is the primitive behavior at play here. That is the message, I believe, Lucky wants to get across.

  97. I’ve mentioned this before but my BIL is friends with someone who was an FA for the Air Transit 236 flight from Toronto to Lisbon in 2001 that needed to make an emergency landing. The passengers there also delayed the emergency evacuation by trying to grab their belongs, to the extend that FA were literally grabbing folks and tossing them down the shoot. Maybe folks aren’t cognitive of what they are doing in such a harrowing circumstance but just going through motions as if it was a regular landing.

  98. It may be a good idea to always travel with a belt bag, or something similar that can stay with the passenger, to keep the important documented like passports, money, or jewelry so that no need to rush to get the carry on bag…

  99. If I were in a situation like this I would probably try and help in any way I can in getting everyone out of the aircraft including myself. It may never happen, it may happen on my next flight. I am always prepared for a crash landing and I hope that the crew is too.

  100. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, 3 words for anyone caught leaving the plane with a carryon.
    No. Fly. List.
    Even if we are talking passports and other important documents that you were not smart enough to have them in your pockets, you are literally saying that your inconvenience from being stranded in a foreign country with no legal documents is a good enough reason for someone else to die for. Wow, just wow.

    By the way, looks like one of the slides didn’t deploy. Bummer

  101. Flight attendant for GCC carrier here. I have the ‘privilege’ of dealing with Indian pax for the last 3 years and I can tell, majority of them are lacking common sense, situational awareness and basic manners completely. In an emergency situation, good luck with evacuating such people, I am shocked it all ended well. God bless the crew.

  102. Inadvertently there are many people who think their luggages worth more than their lifes. If they are everywhere in the flight and you don’t want to be straddled behind by them, then sit close to the emergency exits.

  103. As a pilot I have written about this important topic several times since it has cost lives in the past. The passenger safety information and briefing is mandatory for good reason. Due to toxic fumes and the risk of fire or explosion it is extremely important to evacuate as quickly as possible in order to save the lives of those on board. There is not much time however; if proper procedures are followed a large passenger aircraft can be evacuated in less than two-minutes. Every second counts in saving lives.

    Saving lives is not only the number one priority for everyone; it is the only priority – nothing else even warrants a rating.

    Here are the key steps that will help save lives:
    1. Do not panic and quickly proceed to the most suitable exit.
    2. Obey crew instructions and do not waste time.
    3. Leave your carry-on behind; do not stop to open an overhead.
    4. Do not carry anything; it slows movement, impairs your exit and causes delay
    5. Remove shoes and any other sharp object that might damage the slides.
    6. Quickly move clear of the aircraft; assist others if you are able.

    Roland Collins

  104. I have to AGREE with Lucky on the fact that Indians don’t fly much, most Indians flying to Dubai are labourers and fly like once in 3-5 years. Also Emirates only plays the video in English and Arabic so a great deal of these people wouldn’t have understood the safety briefing. BUT also in their defence I just want to think this video which shows the same thing happening in a EGLL – KLAS
    Also this clearly shows the problem ISN’T region specific.

  105. It’s basic human psychology – the thought of not having one’s possessions drives people to make irrational decisions and is a major concern of human factor studies in the aviation industry.

    It is not region specific and happens in the developed part of the world with flyers from the developed parts of the world as any other.

    Of course, there are always anomalies, but this is based on the work that my firm and I have conducted on disasters and disaster managements at Xponent. It’s a very interesting area of study for my colleagues and me and we are always working with the aviation industry in improving the messaging to the passengers of what to do in such situations. One of the major problems is that airline safety videos/demos don’t specifically state that one should leave all items behind and head to the nearest exit. Airlines need to stress this more carefully but they believe that making such announcements just increases passenger anxiety levels.

    My husband keeps his most important possessions – a thin wallet and his passport in his shirt pocket during travel. I always carry a nice jacket on flights (I’m always cold) with those items. Everything else is unnecessary. I am curious to learn if anyone has such practices.

  106. My brother was on BA2276 last year. Majority of passengers were Americans and citizens of the UK. Same experience – he actually had to push the folks ahead of him (seasoned travelers with manners apparently according to this article) to force them towards the exit because they were too busy looking for headphones and a ****ing phone.

    Based on my travels, the worst passengers in the world are in my own country – the US – where people don’t let others get off of the plane because they are in a hurry, where people feel entitled to use the entire chair armrest ’cause we are too fat, where we carry the bloody kitchen onto flights, and where we feel entitled enough to think that we are always right.

  107. Lucky, I believe in your comments and appreciate the video. How terrifying! There’s no accounting for stupid, though … the plane was on FIRE, people!. I wear a travel belt under my clothes for money, passport and phone. It won’t get caught on an arm rest, it won’t puncture the slide, and it won’t take any precious time away from everyone’s escape. Everything, except a life, is replaceable. WEAR your ID, folks. I even wear travel dog tags around my neck that I made at the kiosk in my grocery store.

  108. There is talk within the industry to start prosecuting those who do such things and this is a clear example of where seconds count so please listen to your trained crew members in an emergency. They go through emergency drills and exams every year to make sure their skills are up to date in order to save lives should something like this happen on their aircraft, and are well versed on the vast procedures which are not even remotely covered in the safety video which for some carriers is a bit too basic.

  109. @ Roland Collins “As a pilot I have written about this important topic several times since it has cost lives in the past.”
    You are mistaken. While I agree to leave the bags in the bins, there are NO documented cases where taking things out of the bins cost lives. In fact, the two recent cases are evidence that no lives are lost. Again, not suggesting it should be allowed, just stating the facts.

    @ Alex J “There is talk within the industry to start prosecuting ”
    There is wishful thinking, but there is no movement to prosecute and there never will be. The airlines would be exposing themselves to more liability. And getting a conviction on someone who just survived a plane crash and can reasonably claim they were ‘out their minds’ would play well with a jury.

  110. Why you should waste time man…in a situation like this, no one knows what gonna do…. a few know about flight going to explode so they film the explosion and be a super hero and some may think taking their valuables, thinking still plenty of time to evacuate… situation like this, majority will be matter which race, colour they come from..not even rich or poor….basic human nature…..example is British airways crash landing in Las Vegas and majority came out of the plane carrying bags….? It’s simple

  111. Whilst I agree trying to look for a hand luggage in an emergency is a problem, I dont think the problem is confined to nationalities or related to frequency of travelling. Human nature. People dont understand that their lives could be gone in a matter of seconds.

    I dont think people walking out of that flight look like Indian to me.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *