About Me

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ready and willing to assist

On my recent departure from New Zealand, I was greeted at the check-in desk by a lovely lady with a pretty smile and a lovely surprise in store for me.

"I'm going to seat you in the emergency aisle because you're quite tall."
"Oh cool. I've never sat there before."
"Well you get more leg room, but you also need to be reading and willing to assist in the case of an emergency. Would you be ready and willing to assist?"
"Yes ma'am, to serve and protect!"
She thought I was a bit weird so she quickly weighed my bag and sent me on my merry way with my boarding pass.


A bit of time passes and I get to board and take my seat. My first thought: "Oh my gosh, the legroom!!!" It was heaven. As the last of the passengers were boarding, one of the flight attendants starts briefing us on how to open the emergency exit door, should an emergency arise. The call sign for us to jump into action is "Evacuate evacuate evacuate" although I'm quite sure it would sound more like "AAAAAAAH EVACUATE-EVACUATE-EVACUATE"

Then the flight started, we were taxied out onto the runway and then up we went.

Now, I'm not a nervous flyer, but sitting in the emergency aisle puts a different perspective on flying. Things that normally wouldn't bother me suddenly resulted in my imagination taking over.

  • We hit a bit of turbulence - "OH GOD, what if this is not just standard turbulence? Am I ready to open the door? But only if there's no fire out there! I'll have to be ready and willing to assist people to exit the vehicle."
  • "The lady next to me looks a bit weak. She'll have to be the first person I assist. I'll need to reach over her and open the door myself."
  • Upon starting to fall to sleep - "NO TIM, NO SLEEP! If we have to evacuate you need to be ready to open that door."

Anyway, as expected there was no emergency, we landed safely and disembarked the plane in the standard manner.

Timothy Rupert chooses to fly Jetstar. Australia's low fares airline.