Chaos Erupts After First-Time Flyer Opens Emergency Exit Thinking It Was The Bathroom
Photo By Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Chaos Erupts After First-Time Flyer Opens Emergency Exit Thinking It Was The Bathroom

Let's get it out of the way: the plane wasn't in mid-flight and nobody was hurt. Typically, I'd bury the lede a little for fun, but I wanted to address that straight-up. That way, I can make fun of the situation without people thinking I'm cruel!

On an Air China flight, one poor, unfortunate soul thought the emergency exit was the bathroom. The unnamed woman went to the back of the plane while it was sitting on the tarmac. She saw a door, she opened it. Which, in turn, caused an evacuation slide to deploy. This innocent mistake, regrettably, would have major consequences.

Per the South China Morning Post, the plane was quickly emptied of its passengers. And the entire flight? Cancelled. "The affected passengers were relocated to a hotel and given compensation of 400 yuan (US$55) each," the publication reports. It's unclear if that $55 is adequate compensation, but, hey. It's something!

As for "Ms. Emergency"? Well, things didn't go quite as smoothly for her following her error. First, she was taken to the hotel and questioned by police. That's an interaction I'm struggling to envision in any other way that's not a cheesy comedy. Do you think they accused her of being a spy? What kind of pedestrian espionage is "deploy the evacuation slide and hold the flight up"?

However, that's not the worst of it. In addition to being questioned, Ms. Emergency had to pay a price. "The female passenger was in tears when she heard that she would need to pay damages," one passenger said. Y'all ready to hear how much? Roughly $28,000. (Generally, the cost of activating an emergency exit door ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 yuan.)

One Unfortunate First-Time Flyer Opens The Emergency Exit Believing It Was The Bathroom

God, can you imagine? That woman will probably never step foot on another plane ever again. She was interrogated, and she's paying thousands of dollars. I would never endeavor to add insult to a financial injury. However, I gotta ask. ...The door didn't have any kind of visual indicator that it wasn't a bathroom?

To be fair, we're talking about something distinctively non-American. Nobody has faith in our critical thinking skills over here, so bathrooms and emergency exits are all clearly labeled to be relatively idiot-proof (in theory). Plus, maybe she really had to go and was blind to any potential signs.