emergency evacuation

Aug 5th, 2005, 10:32 AM
  #1  
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emergency evacuation

I haven't found anything here about the recent AirFrance flight to Toronto. It's great everyone made it out alive (well, better than great).

However, I've wondered about the emergency evacuation procedure. I know you should never wear synthetic materials (the material will melt into your skin) and should have decent shoes (flip-flops great for security, not good in an emergency).

From my understanding, only you, and not your stuff (carryon bags, purses etc.), can make the jump down the emergency chute. So maybe those of us who carry important stuff (wallet, passport, etc.) in a bag should maybe use a hidden wallet/neck pouch that is recommended when travelling away from home?

Any thoughts on this?

Yep, I overplan. And it would be a pain if I had to replace driver's licence, passport, credit cards, etc. while on vacation. But I would be alive.
ncgrrl is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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I wondered too, wouldn't want to leave behind at least passport and cards, especially if landed in a foreign country.
FainaAgain is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Frankly, I wouldn't care. Passports, etc, are all replaceable. And I doubt I'd be in a hurry to get home on another plane anyways. The US Consulate at whatever place would be able to help.

Unless I were going to Cuba, N. Korea, Iran, etc...
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 01:16 PM
  #4  
KT
 
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I thought about this, too, a few years back, and the only thing I decided was not to take my glasses off while I sleep on the plane. That would be the one thing that I really couldn't leave behind, being blind as the proverbial bat without them.
KT is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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From the accounts I have read is was very hectic in the cabin, and some of the exits didn't work (the slides were disconnected on, I think, at least two exits, and some people were jumping. One man was quoted as saying he had been confused when a PA announcement directed them to remain in their seats, but they all ignored it when they smelled smoke.

Despite all this, everyone survived!

I think there is a lot of potential in such a situation for at least some of us to act selfishly, especially when speed is of the essence. We are lucky that these things happen so infrequently.

clevelandbrown is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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I have read accounts that some people did retrieve their carry on stuff. For example there was an account of people from the plane carrying briefcases standing beside the 401 looking for a ride. Think about it...you make it the top of the slide with your purse, bag, etc. who is going to stop you at that point? (I am not saying that I approve, just that it happened. I was not there and will not judge.) It does not sound like it was all that close run a thing in that two passing motorists were able to enter the plane and verify that everyone was off. (The crew had already done this.)

People who have vital meds should think about stuffing a supply in pockets when traveling.
Gavin is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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As you should know from the "First Class Attire" thread below, the most important thing is whether or not you are wearing long pants. Everything else is secondary.
vedette is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 11:25 PM
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Hi KT, eyeglasses, that is one thing that is so important. Never let glasses, if you need them, out of your space. Anyone that needs their glasses to see properly will understand.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 06:13 AM
  #9  
P_M
 
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This has been discussed on the Europe and Canada forums, but I will be happy to share my first-hand experience in this forum as well.

As some of you already know, last year I was in an emergency evacuation due to a jet fire. It made the news here in TX, but not national news since the plane was not destroyed like the AF jet. I learned a great deal about evacuations that day, so I can offer some advice.

It is true that they recommend wearing non-synthetic materials such as cotton. It is best not to wear skirts or shorts when flying. I was wearing long pants that day, but the people in skirts or shorts all got red marks on their legs from going down the slide. In the video they recommend crossing your arms over your chest. This is to keep from getting those same red marks on your arms when going down the slide. I forgot to do that, but my arms never made contact with the slide so I was OK. I will also recommend not wearing high heels when flying. High heels should be removed while evacuating as they can tear the slide. Therefore, you are running away from the plane barefoot. The slide is very steep and slick so you will go down it quickly. This means making a very hard landing when you hit the ground. So if you didn't remove your high heels and you land hard on them, you probably stand a better chance of twisting or breaking your ankle. Then you have to run away from the plane in high heels. So wear comfy shoes. One last word of advice would be to look for the nearest emergency exit when you are seated. When we evacuated everyone just ran to the front. People were crowded around the doors in front of them while the back door was wide open. I was at the rear of the plane so I went out that door without having to wait behind others.

It is true that you are not supposed to take anything when you evacuate. However, just as we landed I had already wrapped my purse around my neck, so when the order to evacuate was given, I did not waste any time grabbing my stuff. I know this is wrong, but please listen to my reasons. While we were in the air the cabin filled with smoke. I am asthmatic and smoke triggers attacks. During this ordeal I breathed a lot of smoke and I knew that leaving behind my meds would mean a trip to the hospital. That's why I took my purse. I already had my money and passport in a money belt under my clothing.


Having said all that, I think your odds of ever being in an evacuation are so slim, I would worry about taking off your glasses when you sleep.

P_M is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 06:29 AM
  #10  
P_M
 
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In my last line I meant to say you should NOT worry about taking off your glasses when you sleep. Sorry.
P_M is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 06:43 AM
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Don't take your glasses off during takeoff and landing, and keep your shoes on during those time too. Stay awake and don't drug yourself.

Most accidents happen during those times. Well, at least the survivable ones do. If the plane break up midair, then glasses, shoes, passports and medicine won't do you any good.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 09:36 PM
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rkkwan, your comment about not drugging yourself is something that I have always wondered about when I hear people saying that take this or that to put themselves to sleep. For me taking two Advil makes me a bit groggy. I have always thought I would rather be a bit tired on arrival then half groggy if there were an emergency situation so you comment was of interest to me.

P_M, do you agree? And btw, thanks for your description of your horrible experience. I never did know exactly what happened. My late husband always counted how many seats there were from where we sat to the nearest exit. I have not done this but certainly will in the future. Safe travels to everyone.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 05:34 AM
  #13  
P_M
 
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Yes, I do agree. I haven't taken a sleeping pill on the plane since this happened.

I posted a thread about this when I first got home from this trip. This gives a little more detail. Here it is if you're interested:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34524572


P_M is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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P_M, I have a dumb question...did you get your checked baggage back ? Did it have to be shipped to you or what happens after an evacuation....I guess it would depend on the state the plane was left in i.e. destroyed etc....just curious, thanks in advance..
Wednesday is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 11:30 AM
  #15  
P_M
 
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That's not a dumb question at all. We did not get our luggage back the same day because the FAA seized the plane to conduct the investigation. The next day British Airways was allowed to unload the luggage and send it to the passengers. The accident happened in Houston, so the people in Houston probably got their luggage the next day. Just after the accident we were offered seats on a later flight to London. There were very few takers, as most people didn't want to fly again right away, but I decided to go on, and from there I continued as planned to Geneva. So my luggage was shipped to me and I received it a day after arriving into Geneva. It was delivered directly to my hotel.

I learned through a BA employee that although my plane was not destroyed, it was kept out of service for some time due to the investigation and the repairs that were needed. My suitcase was flown out the next morning on another plane.
P_M is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 06:32 AM
  #16  
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Thanks everyone for your opinions. P_M, sorry you had to go through one, but glad you made it and can contribute your knowledge on the subject.

I hope to never have to go through one, but good to know what to do. Good about looking for an exit behind you.

Just watch me trample people and climb over seat backs to get out of the plane.
ncgrrl is offline  

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