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Flight Attendant Spotted Evacuating Plane Via Emergency Slide With a Full-Sized Carry-On Case in Contravention of Protocols

Flight Attendant Spotted Evacuating Plane Via Emergency Slide With a Full-Sized Carry-On Case in Contravention of Protocols

a slide on an airplane

A flight attendant was spotted evacuating an aircraft during a bomb threat alert at Delhi Airport on Tuesday morning by sliding down an emergency chute with a full-sized carry-on case. A decision which is most likely in contravention of evacuation protocols.

The incident unfolded after flight attendants onboard an IndiGo Airlines flight bound for Varanasi found a note scrawled on a tissue in one of the onboard lavatories which read: “Bomb@5.30”.

The Airbus A320 was due to depart at around 5 am, so airport authorities had the pilots taxi the aircraft to a remote part of the airfield where decision was then taken to evacuate the aircraft via emergency slides.

Eyewitness video of the ensuing evacuation appears to show a pretty chaotic process, resulting in many of those onboard escaping the aircraft with their carry-on luggage despite the risks that doing so can impede the escape of others and damage the emergency slides.

Some of the crew members were commended for their role in the evacuation, including one cabin crew member who was caught on video helping an elderly woman evacuate the aircraft via an overwing emergency exit.

But at least two other crew members were seen leaving their aircraft with their own bags. Along with the flight attendant who left the plane with her carry-on case, was a crew member who appears to be a pilot who was spotted sliding down the chut with his briefcase.

The low-cost Indian airline has so backed the actions of its crew, saying that standard protocols were followed.

“IndiGo flight 6E2211 operating from Delhi to Varanasi had received a specific bomb threat at Delhi airport at 5.35 am. All necessary protocols were followed and aircraft was taken to a remote bay as per guidelines by airport security agencies,” the airline said in a statement.

“All passengers were safely evacuated via the emergency exits. The flight is currently undergoing inspection. Post completion of all security checks, the aircraft will be positioned back in the terminal area.”

Unsurprisingly, no suspect item was found onboard.

Matt’s take

I’ve written before how I find it odd that so many airlines choose to evacuate aircraft via emergency slides because a bomb threat has been received. That might sound like an odd take, but you must consider the real risk of serious injury in evacuating an aircraft via emergency slides.

When was the last time that a bomb threat made against an airliner was anything other than a hoax? Unless very real and actionable intelligence of a real threat is received, then an emergency evacuation via slides is only exposing passengers to more harm than good.

And it’s not just me who questions the logic of using evacuation slides for anything other but the most dire situations. A couple of years ago, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau wrote a damning report into the response of Qantas to a fume event that resulted in a full-scale evacuation.

One of the investigators concluded that “accidents around the world continue to show there is a significant risk of injury to passengers when escape slides are used.”

“This risk is acceptable in a life-threatening situation where the alternative may be catastrophic, but in cases such as a fumes event – particularly if the aerobridge is already attached – a rapid disembarkation procedure may be preferable,” the ATSB wrote.

Earlier this month, the crew of a British Airways Boeing 777 opted for a rapid disembarkation via airstairs at Bermuda Airport after an emailed bomb threat was received. That being said, the Captain became so frustrated with how long it took for airstairs to arrive at the side of the aircraft that he threatened to evacuate passengers via emergency slides.

In the end, airport authorities managed to get a set of airstairs to the plane, and everyone onboard was evacuated without injury.

View Comment (1)
  • Rapid disembarkation is all very well but ground handlers are unlikely to bring stairs to an aircraft if there is a bomb threat.
    That, in my experience, has been the protocol. Just saying and its happened .

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