PSA: Don’t Open Airplane Emergency Exit For Fresh Air Or To Get Off Faster

Filed Under: Other Airlines

There are a couple of interesting stories over the past couple of days from planes in China that had the emergency exits opened. As uncivilized as the US aviation industry seems sometimes, it’s easy to take for granted that at least most people have flown before. Some frequent flyers are annoyed by once yearly flyers not knowing the drill. But people flying for the first time in their lives are a totally different story, as you can see below…

Passenger just wanted fresh air

Via the South China Morning Post, a passenger on a Xiamen Air flight from Hangzhou to Chengdu on Sunday opened the emergency exit door just before takeoff. Apparently he just wanted to “get some fresh air.” It was his first time flying, so you can’t really hold it against him too much. Amazingly the flight wasn’t delayed, despite that having happened.

Fortunately the airline isn’t penalizing the passenger, which I appreciate, given that no harm was intended. And thank goodness it was an overwing exit and not an exit with a slide, which would have been a much more complicated (and expensive) repair.

At the same time, even if you’ve never flown before, what exactly is the thought process that goes through your head when you try to open a door before takeoff? Beyond me…

Passenger wanted to get off faster

Via ABC, a passenger arriving at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport in Hainan on Monday decided to deploy the emergency upon arriving at the gate.

Why, you ask? Because he wanted to get off the plane faster, and didn’t realize the emergency exit was for emergencies only. He also admitted he didn’t pay attention to the safety demo (not that the safety demo explicitly says that you shouldn’t use the emergency exit to get off the plane faster, so I’m not sure it would have helped).

Since the slide deployed, that’s a costly repair for the airline.

Here’s a video of the incident:

Bottom line

The emergency exit is for emergencies only. That is all.

  1. Not really an emergency exit story per se, but definitely a WTF moment – on a trans-Atlantic flight I was on, an older lady decided the best time to use the restroom was about 30 seconds before touchdown, so she stood up and proceeded…

    Luckily she was near the bulkhead in economy so a member of the crew quickly took her right back to her seat and everything was fine, but it really made me wonder what her thought process was. Everyone was sitting down wearing that unique “imminent landing” facial expression people seem to take. Also the landing had been announced on the PA and given we were so close, it wasn’t exactly the easiest time to move around… Maybe I just take it that this is second nature to me for granted… šŸ˜€

  2. Chinese pax have been being at the center of all kinds of antics, and dont blame them. in many areas of China people got rich over night and not having much interactions / education/communications with the urban people. when they travel they are conscious, making a point to show they have the money to do whatever they want. this caused a lot of troubles/embarrassments. the rest of the world just have to suck it up because we are a loving earthly village.

  3. Good lord, what a couple of dolts. I don’t care if it’s the guy’s first time flying, that’s just dumb.

  4. No shortage of idiots in the world, sadly. Even if idiots in the west often need a few drinks before they do something like this. Guess it is a learning process.

    If he can afford it I hope they make the slide guy pay for the repairs, and publish it widely so that other can learn from it.

  5. On the one hand, I would have no patience for anyone doing this on a flight I was on regardless of airline or region of the world. I just can’t even fathom the ignorance such a scenario requires especially after safety announcements.

    On the other hand, I can’t fathom growing up in a village with no TV, farming in remote villages in China my entire life, and then potentially being exposed to either fast personal increases in wealth, or having a family member encounter wealth and buy me my first plane ticket at an older age. Going on a flight for the first time without exposure to TV shows, pop culture, or the world of aviation once an adult (while also not having experienced advanced trains or coach buses) is unfathomable. Which is why, while crazy, I can’t say I hold anything against these passengers given I’m hearing the stories third person.

    Potentially this is the onus of the the airlines operating in more remote cities of China to do more proactive and extensive passenger information segments.

  6. Still can’t figure out why, since flight attendants brief passengers seated in exit rows on not opening the door for non-emergency events in just about every flight I’ve flown on these days in China.

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