Passenger opened emergency exit 'because of screaming baby'

Katy Holland
Passenger opens emergency exit because of screaming baby
Passenger opens emergency exit because of screaming baby


A passenger who opened the emergency exit on an aircraft to 'help get a mother and screaming baby off as quickly as possible' has been fined for his actions.

Passenger Le Van Thuan, who was sitting near the woman and her crying child, told authorities that he opened the plane's window exit, immediately releasing the emergency slide, so that they could get off quickly.

The Vietnam Airlines plane had already landed at Ho Chi Minh city, and passengers were waiting to disembark when the impatient passenger took action.

The mother and child didn't use the slide - but according to Vietnam's TuoiTre News, Van Thuan was fined around 15 million Vietnamese Dong (£455) for opening the door.

His rash decision cost the airline a lot more than that - around $10,000 (£6,240) - because the slide had to be refitted, and the plane had to be removed from service.

Fined: air passenger who opened emergency exit to help screaming baby
Fined: air passenger who opened emergency exit to help screaming baby


The Daily Mail reports that this is the third incident in six months in which a passenger has opened a door on a Vietnam Airlines plane. Last year, a student accidentally opened a door, claiming he thought it was the window shade.

The airline was unavailable for comment.

Although Le Van Thuan's actions proved costly, passengers were not in any real danger, as the exit could not have been opened if the plane had been in the air.

As Aaron Ritoper UK manager of explains: "The door of an aircraft is designed to open inwards before opening outwards, and the pressure differential between the cabin and the outside air at altitude prevents this requires inward motion - the door is in fact sealed tighter the higher the plane goes. So rest assured: no matter how hard you try, that door is not going to open until you're firmly on the ground."

But this hasn't stopped many passengers trying. Last year, an Easyjet passenger had to be wrestled to the ground after trying to open the emergency exit at 35,000ft.

And last October, a Delta Airlines flight was grounded after a passenger attempted to open the emergency exit in a fit of panic.

Although plainly unwise, Le Van Thuan's decision to open the emergency exit because of a screaming baby will strike a chord with many passengers.

A recent survey found that crying children were the number one irritation among air passengers, and an AOL Travel poll revealed that 70 per cent of passengers would like to see 'child free zones' on aircraft.


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