Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bags dearer than life for most flyers during evacuation

Mumbai:  Emergency evacuations carried out by airlines the world over in the last few years have brought to fore a new reality in air travel. For passengers, hand baggage is dearer than life. Two evacuations carried out this week, first by Air India at Delhi airport and second by British Airways at Las Vegas airport have proved this point.

"When an aircraft carrying tons of highly inflammable aviation turbine fuel is on fire, the first thing to do after it has come to a halt is to rush for the emergency exit, leaving one's bags and belongings behind as instructed by the cabin crew. But many reach for the overhead bin," said a senior flight attendant of an international airline.

Safety norms dictate that an emergency evacuation procedure should be completed within 90 seconds of the aircraft coming to a halt, even when only half the number of emergency exits are available for use. "If one passenger opens the overhead bin to retrieve his bag, he slows down the entire evacuation," said a cabin crew training instructor. Then again, bags tumbling down the inflatable slide raft could injure passengers.
12/09/15 Manju V/Times of India

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