A few months ago, I was on a flight to Taiwan when my tummy started to churn halfway.
“Oh shit, is this from the salted egg plus chocolate cake plus chili padi mixture I had yesterday night, or the water chestnut plus lava cake plus bean sprouts mixture I had for breakfast?”
Well, the answer mattered not. I needed the bathroom, and I needed it fast.
“Where’s the toilet, Mum?” I asked the person sitting next to me.
She pointed at a direction, and I charged up.
“Don’t open the emergency door okay,” she half-joked.
“Hahahaha, who in their right mind will sia,” I laughed to myself as I walked to the toilet. “Only-”
“OI WHAT’RE YOU DOING, THAT’S THE EMERGENCY DOOR YOU BODOH,” someone shouted at me from behind.
Well, suffice it to say that I didn’t dare to go to the toilet anymore after that. Although it is a good thing that I was stopped just in time, because if I wasn’t…
The following could’ve happened to me.
A woman passenger on PIA plane at Manchester airport mistakenly opened the emergency exit door thinking it was the toilet – to make matters worse the evacuation chute also deployed though it shouldn't have – the flight which was about to depart was delayed by 7 hours pic.twitter.com/toPyho3buZ
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 9, 2019
According to Washingtonpost.com, a passenger on a flight bound for Pakistan inadvertently caused a whopping seven-hour delay, after opening an emergency exit before the plane left Manchester, England.
And her reason for opening the emergency exit?
She thought it was the toilet.
Passenger Mistook Plane Emergency Door As Entrance to Toilet
According to the airline’s own statement, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 702 was about to leave for Islamabad on Friday night when the woman opened the rear exit, causing an entire evacuation slide to deploy.
During the delay, passengers were taken off the plane and provided dinner, before the flight left and safely arrived in Pakistan. Because the aircraft’s evacuation capacity was decreased after losing the slide, however, some passengers have to stay back and contend with a later flight.
Though if there’s any consolation, these waylaid passengers were offered transportation, as well as a hotel stay. At least one, however, complained on Twitter that their luggage had been left behind in Manchester.
Our mistake was to get off loaded. If we had not off loaded there was no way this plane was going to fly.
Nobody at airport telling us what happened to our luggage. After 3.5 hrs of frantic searching we get to know it wasn't even brought in the first place.
— Sleeping beauty (@WaterLileee) June 9, 2019
And to make things worse, the ‘mishap’ resulted in the delay of at least one other flight, from Islamabad to Copenhagen.
The airline has since apologised for the gaff, and issued a warning to possible ‘slide deployers’.
“We regret the delay of PK771, which is an unfortunate consequence of the delay of PK702,” PIA tweeted. “…We strongly urge passengers to follow security instructions as such mishaps result in inconvenience of hundreds of other passengers.”
We regret the delay of PK771, which is an unfortunate consequence of the delay of PK702, caused due to a passenger opening the emergency door. We strongly urge passengers to follow security instructions as such mishaps result in inconvenience of hundreds of other passengers.
— PIA (@Official_PIA) June 8, 2019
According to the Independent, PIA’s chief executive has since ordered an inquiry into the incident.
And to think that all of it, all of it, happened because of a case of ‘mistaken identity’.
Tough luck indeed.
But if there’s any consolation to the woman in question
It would be that her incident wasn’t quite the first to take hold of reports.
Just last year, a man on a domestic flight in India was actually apprehended after he attempted to open an emergency exit mid-flight. And the reason he did so?
Yeah, he was looking for the toilet too.
Thankfully, he was wrestled away from the door by other passengers in time, and so no real mishap occurred. Though it does get one thinking:
“Well, time to double check the doors I open on a flight.”
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