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90 Seconds: Your Life Or Your Stuff?

As When flying, would you risk your life to save a few precious items located in your carry-on bag? The answer should be NO. In the event of an air emergency (or any crisis), nothing should be more important than escaping with your life. But people often act otherwise.

Modern aircraft are designed to give passengers 90-seconds to evacuate. That’s a minute and a half!

Authorities recently concluded that a recent airline fire evacuation in Toronto was slowed by passengers retrieving their carry-on bags before fleeing the plane. Poor decisions are fueled by the increased value of items like electronics or medications often stowed in carry-on luggage. Safety investigators are prompting the FAA to reconsider evacuation safety communications for all airlines. Currently, verbal instructions to leave carry-on items behind are encouraged but not required.

Being a smart passenger increases your chance for survival in the unlikely event of a flight emergency. Smart passengers plan ahead. Wearing clothing that covers arms and legs provides an extra layer of protection during an emergency. Also, smart passengers wear sensible shoes and don’t drink during a flight.


  • Keep what’s important to you within arm’s reach. Material items are replaceable; your life is not.

  • Wear your shoes — especially during takeoff and landing. Select clothes that cover limbs.

  • Pay attention to that repetitive life safety video and demonstration at the beginning of your flight; you can never be too educated or prepared for an emergency.

  • Get out; follow the signs and listen to the directions given by flight attendants.


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