Why You Shouldn’t Take Your Bag in a Flight Emergency

Seconds matter in an airplane fire. Bulky carry-on bags and passengers who do not listen are a recipe for disaster. Last year’s American Airlines flight 383 engine failure and fire came with some disturbing testimony:

AA Flight Account: “Passengers were trying to get bags out of the overhead bins, so she told them repeatedly ‘don’t take anything with you’. She went around to the 2L overwing exit and saw FA #7 (Flight Attendant) elevated on a seat in the smoke evacuating passengers out the exits so she directed passengers to those exits. A male passenger came with a bag and she had an oral altercation with him regarding his refusal to drop the bag. He refused to drop it and proceeded forward with the bag over his head.”

Don’t be a jerk, leave your things. Listen to the flight crew.


Q. Why shouldn’t I?
Because bags can obstruct the aisle and make the plane a deathtrap.

Q. What about my purse or other items not in the overhead bin?
If it can obstruct the aisle, forget about it.

Q. Can I load my pockets up with stuff?
You have 90 seconds to evacuate, if you take too long you are putting others at risk.

Q. Will someone try and stop me?
Yes, you may be verbally or physically stopped.

Q. Have people actually died trying to get out of an airplane?
Yes, hundreds. See Saudia Flight 163 or Air Canada Flight 797 for example.

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