First-time Flier Causes Mid-flight Panic After Mistaking the Exit for the Bathroom
Passengers traveling on a GoAir flight from New Delhi to Patna were sent into a panic on Saturday after a man attempted to open the emergency exit door mid-flight.
According to reports, the man was a first-time flyer in his late 20s. Though the incident was most certainly frightening, the man reportedly had no nefarious plans for the plane. Instead, he simply mistook the emergency exit door for the bathroom.
An airport official explained to The Telegraph that the man’s fellow passengers asked what he was doing and he replied that he "needed to use the washroom urgently” and kept tugging at the exit door.
"Pandemonium prevailed amid all this and he was restrained and finally handed over to us,” Mohammad Sanowar Khan told the newspaper. "He said that the confusion happened because he had boarded a flight for the first time in his life."
GoAir noted in a statement to AFP, "A co-passenger raised the alarm and he was intercepted by the crew.” The plane landed safely in its destination and the passenger was escorted off the flight for further questioning.
While the incident was undoubtedly terrifying for passengers, they actually had little to worry about as he’d need to possess superhuman strength to open an emergency exit door mid-flight.
“It’s physically impossible,” Jason Rabinowitz, an aviation blogger, told Travel + Leisure in 2017. “When at cruising altitude, the pressure difference between the outside of the plane and the inside of the plane, which is pressurized, creates a situation where the door cannot open.”
This isn’t the first time a passenger has confused the exit for the loo.
In 2016, a 50-year-old Chinese woman actually engaged the emergency slide on a China Southern Airlines flight after mistaking an emergency exit for an airplane bathroom. In 2015, a man onboard a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight was detained and fined for the same thing.
Perhaps it’s time to add “NOT THE BATHROOM” to all exit doors so passengers can avoid this mess in the future.