Aviation: Is this the best way to disembark an airplane?
Your airplane finally lands, the seatbelt sign flashes off and you leap to your feet, ready to get out of the cabin and on with your vacation.
The problem is, everyone’s got the same idea.
You all — sort of — deplane row by row, but with everyone jostling and reaching for their luggage via the overhead locker, it’s never entirely clear whose turn it is to get off next.
Now imagine if passengers waited patiently and disembarked one row at a time. Sounds like a pipe dream, right? Except apparently it does sometimes happen — and flight attendant Louise Vadeboncoeur has the video to prove it.
Vadeboncoeur, a flight attendant with Canadian carrier WestJet, recorded timelapse footage of passengers disembarking an internal charter flight in Canada.
They’re oil rig workers, traveling from Fort McMurray in Alberta to Calgary International Airport — and they’ve got deplaning down to a tee.
“These men and women do this flight on a regular basis. As it blows my mind every time, I decided to film it,” Vadeboncoeur tells CNN Travel.
“Even though they fly often back and forth, it still doesn’t explain how they manage to all know that this would be the perfect way to deplane in a perfect world.”
So is this the “perfect” way to get everyone off an airplane?
The art of disembarking
Vadeboncoeur, who has been an air steward at WestJet for the past 12 years — she loves “almost every minute of it”, she says — explains that air crew don’t get training on how to deplane.
Airlines seem hesitant to get involved. American Airlines told CNN Travel, “we don’t have a perspective to offer on this,” while British Airways declined to comment for this story.
As a result, the crew tends not to interfere unless some passengers have tight connections and need to disembark before others, or if there are children, elderly people or disabled passengers who need assistance.
“It’s left to the passengers to figure out,” explains Vadeboncoeur, adding that doesn’t always lead to smooth sailing.
“It’s usually chaotic and people wanting to get out (or up) as soon as possible,” she says.
But the passengers Vadeboncoeur filmed on the WestJet charter flight are nothing if not orderly, deplaning one at a time, row by row.
They might get up and get their bags when the flight first lands but they always sit back down again, says Vadeboncoeur.
That’s what frequent flier Johnny “Jet” DiScala recommends. “I think people should get up and have their bag ready,” he tells CNN Travel. “Because I think that’s what takes time.
“So often you’re held up because one person is so slow at getting their bag or it’s too big to pull out or it’s stuck.”
DiScala says he always strives to be as swift as possible when he disembarks.
“Everyone’s in a hurry when they land regardless of if they’re going home or to a business meeting or making a connection. They just want to get home or get to their next place. So why hold them up? It just kind of drives me nuts when people just take their sweet time.”