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Airline passenger accidentally opens emergency exit while searching for the toilet

Published Jun 10th, 2019 6:35PM EDT
plane toilet door
Image: Mint Images/Shutterstock

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Flying can be pretty stressful. You’ve got all your bags and whatnot, plus the snacks you grabbed in the airport terminal, a magazine or six, and you’re already a little tipsy from two hours at the airport bar… what, just me?

Anyway, flying sucks, and a passenger aboard a flight from the UK to Pakistan accidentally made their own trip even more stressful by accidentally triggering the emergency exit door while searching for the airplane toilet. Not only did this cause some serious embarrassment for the poor sap, it also forced the plane to remain grounded for some time.

According to CNN, Pakistan International Airlines flight 702 was supposed to head from Manchester Airport to Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday. While the plane was still on the tarmac, an unidentified passenger went bathroom hunting and ended up at the emergency exit handle.

One firm tug later, the door was open and the emergency exit slide — which is designed to roll out for easy escape in the event of a real emergency — deployed.

Unfortunately for everyone aboard, correcting such a mistake isn’t as simple as just slamming the door again. The entire plane had to be unloaded, with some 40 passengers returning to the terminal while they waited a whopping seven hours for the plane to be made flight-worthy once again.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find it a little bit hard to believe that the individual who pulled the lever actually thought it was a bathroom. The plane, which is a Boeing 777, isn’t exactly a city-sized aircraft and it’s not hard to tell where the walls are.

In any case, the details of how things played out are vague, and the airline says it was just a case of mistaken door identity. Keep that in mind the next time you’re scrambling for the toilet while your plane taxis the runway.