Travel Tip: Listen to the flight attendants

delta safety

The crash of Asiana flight 214 is a tragedy in this day of air travel.  Air travel is still safer than ever and safer than driving, but crashes like this are a reminder of what can happen when things go wrong.  I hope to never be in this situation, but just like car accidents, it’s not always in my control.  I do not live in fear of a plane crash just like I do not live in fear of a car crash.  Although this flight is pointing to pilot error with coming in too slow and correcting too late, flights such as the Miracle on the Hudson happened also.

Although so much went wrong, quite a bit did go right.  Only 2 lives were lost out of over 300 onboard.  Today’s CNN article by Madison Park talks about the experience of the flight attendants and they are definitely the heroes in this tragedy.


  • Listen to the flight attendant.  Not all exits will always be accessible so don’t open the door if there is an issue.
  • Keep your ID and your phone on your person if possible because in an emergency evacuation you should not take your luggage with you.  I know it will be hard for many and first instinct is to grab your stuff, but just like with a house fire you don’t go back in to get pictures, you get out and get safe.  Also just like with a house fire you should have your items you really need convenient so you can get them and get out.  I pretty much always have my ID in my pocket.  Sometimes I’m wearing an outfit without pockets as many women do, but I try to buy pants with pockets and my phone, ID, and BP are in them.  If your phone is not handy, I’m sorry, but  honestly it’s not worth it to dig around in the overhead when seconds count.
  • No pointy heels on the ramps.  Take your heels off and hold them to deplane.  You don’t want to puncture anything.
  • I hate making policies based on exceptions, but situations like this are part of the reason why you can’t use devices and need to keep everything stowed 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after landing and why you wouldn’t want a laptop or heavy object in the seat-back pocket.

Ultimately though, get yourself together.  Follow flight attendant instructions, don’t trample anyone.

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From Wikepedia


  1. Unfortunately the Asiana experience is the same as we had in a recent emergency evacuation here in San Antonio. People were carrying things off the plane and taking cellphone pictures before they were a safe distance away.

    1. Good point about pictures! We all want pictures now, but if you stop and take a picture you hold others up or you get into harms way to get a good shot.

  2. Another suggestion for international travelers is to keep your passport on your self. I keep mine in my sock near my calf. In the event my personal effects are gone from an evacuation of an airplane, I can easily return to the United States.

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