Take a good look at the photo on the left. It’s a shot of survivors exiting the Asiana Airlines plane that crashed at SFO. But take a good look a the center of the photo. (You can click on the photo to get it to enlarge.) There’s a lady in green wheeling a large bag. That’s right, she stopped to get her bag before exiting the plane.
And she wasn’t the only one according to this article from the Wall Street Journal.
Fortunately, no one lost their lives due to this selfish action by a few passengers. But who can say this is always the case. What if it wasn’t a 777 but a 737 or MD-80 and she had to go out out an emergency window rather than an emergency door. Would she hold up the line continually trying to get her bag out the small opening?
After reading the article, I’d like to give some suggestions on what to do to prepare for such an event. As I usually say, “expect the best but prepare for the worst.”
If you ever need to evacuate a plane, leave your carry-on. The stuff can be replaced. Your life or the life of a fellow passenger can’t.
If you’re worried about cash and credit cards, don’t put them in your carry on. Keep them on your person or in a small bag–not full size carry-on–that can easily be grabbed in an emergency. The bag should be no wider than you so both can get out of any size emergency exit. I keep my extra cash and credit cards in a moneybelt. I also put my smartphone in my pocket during take off and landing. As long as I have cash and some credit cards, I can always get home. If I also have my smartphone with me, I can let friends and family know I’m okay and make plans a lot easier. If you do utilize a small bag or purse, this should be at your feet and not in the overhead.
For those of you who like to take your shoes off while in flight, here’s a suggestion: when the seat belt light is on, your shoes should be on.
Just before you sit down, count the number of rows to the nearest emergency exit. This takes no time and really is a good idea in case the cabin fills with smoke.
Know where your life vest is located and how to use it. Did you notice when the USAir plane went down in the Hudson how few people had their life vests on.
To some of you this may seem redundant. You may be thinking that you fly often enough you don’t need it.
Famous last words.