She Went to Use the Toilet. She Opened the Wrong Door

Passenger on Pakistan International Airline pulled open emergency exit door by mistake
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2019 7:38 AM CDT
She Went to Use the Toilet. She Opened the Wrong Door
In this June 8, 2013, photo, a Pakistani International Airline plane is seen moments before takeoff from the Benazir Bhutto airport in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Passengers booked on a Pakistan International Airlines flight to Islamabad were likely a little grumpy Friday night after one of their own erred while trying to use the bathroom—except it wasn't the bathroom. Gulf News reports the incident happened at the UK's Manchester Airport, when a female passenger decided she had to use the lavatory before takeoff, despite the seatbelt sign being lit, per the Independent. It wasn't the bathroom door she pulled open, though: It was one of the emergency exit doors right next to it, which triggered the emergency chute to activate outside the plane.

"As per standard operating procedure, the PIA had to offload nearly 40 passengers and their luggage," a PIA rep told reporters, noting the flight was delayed by seven hours. From the description offered by the Independent, some passengers were allowed back on that flight, while—due to newly limited evacuation capacity from the opened chute—others had to volunteer to take a later flight and were put up in hotels. That wasn't the end of the airline's expenses around this incident: An aviation expert cited by Gulf News notes deploying the emergency chute can cost an airline anywhere between $6,000 and $30,000. (Read more airline passengers stories.)

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