Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In case of an emergency

Just before the plane began to taxi out to the runway, I heard one of the flight attendants telling the people near the exit doors that they would be the ones responsible for evacuating the plane in case of an emergency. At the signal, ‘evacuate, evacuate, evacuate’, these people near the exits should be prepared to open the doors as she’d instructed them. Of course, she added, they would have to use their discretion as to whether it would be safer inside or out.

Had I not heard the later, more standard announcement, with the attendants miming the seatbelt, lifejacket and crash position procedures that a digital voice was putting through the speakers, I would have begun to believe that an emergency was more likely to happen during this flight than any other that I had ever been on, and that I would have to rely on the discretion of the several people now seated at the doors, whose ordinary shirts and hair had, for no rational reason, failed to inspire my confidence.

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