Passengers aboard a Pakistan International Airlines, PIA, did not expect the sudden 7-hour delay they experienced on a cold Friday night in June. Moments before take-off, a female passenger stood up to use the restroom, but in her bid to locate it, she fortuitously opened an emergency exit door.
The event took place at the Manchester International Airport. PIA flight 702 abound for Islamabad, Pakistan at 21:20hrs had to remain at the airport until 5:00hrs the next day. The airline attendants immediately ordered an emergency evacuation of all travellers aboard the airplane.
No passenger sustained any damage in the encounter. Sadly, the evacuation parachutes had deployed among other disruptions caused. This led to the untimely delay of the passengers. PIA took control of the situation with professionalism.
Engineers were immediately sent out to examine the flight, while the airplane attendants took care of ensuring every passenger of flight PK702 was provided with a meal for the night.
However, due to the loss of the evacuation chutes which deployed incidentally, not all the commuters could board the plane afterwards, as evacuation slides available were insufficient.
Majority of the passengers volunteered to board a later flight; the airline provided stranded passengers with free transportation and lodging. All the commuters arrived safely in Pakistan.
The whole hospitality experience may not have gone as rosy as was portrayed by the airline. One of the delayed passengers, identified only as sleeping beauty, took to Twitter to voice out her displeasure. She tweeted:
“Pathetic service from PIA. I am one of the 38 passengers who voluntarily offloaded from PK702 so it can fly to Islamabad only on the condition that all 38 of us will get our luggage.”
In her tweet, she confirmed that their luggage was left behind in Manchester, contrary to their agreed condition with the airline. And that they were left in Pakistan with nothing to wear.
The event resulted in the subsequent delay of another flight, PK771, abound Copenhagen from Islamabad. PIA took to Twitter to apologize for the unavoidable backlog. They also used the medium to urge passengers to follow security instructions.
Sometime last year, a local flight in India intercepted a man who was trying to open an emergency exit during flight. He had also claimed to be in search of the toilet after being apprehended by observant passengers.
A similar situation took place in China just this year. An adult male attempted exiting a grounded aircraft through the emergency exit. He was arrested in the act for endangering the lives of other commuters.