Your Luggage or Your Life 3: Russia Edition

Airline disasters keep happening, people keep acting like idiots, and we keep trying to warn flyers. This time it happened in Russia. An Aeroflot flight was struck by lighting just after taking off, damaging the plane’s electronics. The pilot decided to make an emergency landing back at the airport, bad things happened and the plane burst into flames. Over 40 people died in the resulting fire (not from the rough landing). And, yet again, some of those people died because others wasted valuable escape time grabbing their luggage from the overhead bin and clogging up the aisle instead of getting out of the plane quickly. Seconds matter in an airplane evacuation and you could make a valid case of saying those people who grabbed their luggage are guilty of murder.

It is unclear how many of those people would have survived if everyone had left their luggage in the overhead bins (as they should). The USA Today asked the question “Were lives lost at the cost of carry-ons” and the answer is almost certainly yes. The other question that needs asking is when are people going to stop behaving so selfishly when their flight goes horribly wrong, and what are we going to do about it?

There is an endless debate about this problem with no obvious solution. Locking overhead bins have been proposed but they would be expensive and may not work. They might even make the problem worse and people waste more time desperately trying to open them. There is only one possible logical solution, prosecute anyone on such a flight who takes time to grab their luggage before evacuating the plane. Will this work? Given human nature it probably won’t stop most of the selfish morons who risk the lives of all the passengers by wasting time to grab their luggage. But threat of serious penalties for this kind of behavior might just make a few people think twice it might save a few lives. Putting a few selfish assholes in prison for a few months sounds like a pretty cheap way of saving some innocent passengers. What do you think?