Ever since a recent incident about a passenger opening the emergency exit door of an airline minutes before its departure was reported, there has been a buzz about what rules actually state in such cases. Here’s what we found out.
Earlier this month, there were reports about a passenger in India opening up the right emergency exit door of a plane minutes before the flight was supposed to take off. The incident came to light after a two-hour delay was reported due to the same, as all passengers were asked to de-board the plane while the aircraft underwent mandatory safety procedures. But, what do airline rules say about opening these doors, and when is one allowed to pull the handles?
When can a passenger open an aircraft’s emergency exit
We understand that there might be a certain level of curiosity when you’re sitting right beside the emergency door, wanting to open the handle and see what it leads to. However, in case you actually open the door, even if by mistake, you can be put on the no-fly list by the airlines! This ban comes for a specific time period, and you can be called out for ‘unruly behaviour’ and for putting the lives of other passengers at risk.
Passengers who try to open the emergency exit doors are often restrained by the airline crew and co-travellers unless the instructions to open it come from the crew itself. This can lead to scuffles and fights, too, in case the passenger simply refuses to listen.
However, there’s also one more thing you should note – for almost all aircrafts, exits open inward. While some go upwards into the ceiling, some others then go outward. However, the pressure mid-air is so high that one will not be able to open the door and hold it in place no matter how hard they try. This, along with the mechanical and electrical latches, makes it next to impossible for a passenger to open the doors mid-air by mistake.
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