Passengers walk away from a burning American Airlines jet — with their luggage.
Passengers walk away from a burning American Airlines jet — with their luggage.

Photo that has flight attendants furious

THIS photo shows something that many passengers are guilty of doing - and it enrages the flight attendants who have to deal with it. Now, aviation authorities are considering drastic measures to finally put an end to it.

So why oh why do people refuse to leave their carry-on bags behind while exiting planes in an emergency? Instead, they waste precious seconds that should be used to get the hell out of a burning plane.

American Airlines flight 383 is a case in point. The plane had suffered an engine blowout during takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in 2016. A number of passengers refused to leave their carry-on bags behind, holding up the evacuation, with the incident now prompting a flight attendant to suggest a new way to solve the problem.

"Issue fines for passengers who take luggage."

Passengers evacuated a British Airway's Boeing 777 — with luggage.
Passengers evacuated a British Airway's Boeing 777 — with luggage.

The suggestion is worth exploring, according to Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has recently finished its investigation into the American Airlines incident.

"I have thought about that," Mr Sumwalt told the Chicago Sun-Times. "People might be less inclined to worry about all their Gucci luggage."

It's far from the only example of luggage woes on planes. Chaotic footage from inside Emirates flight EK521, which crash landed in Dubai two months prior, shows an extreme scenario where passengers block the aisle while they fuss over their bags, even with smoke filling the cabin and screams intensifying.

One crew member can even be heard shouting "Leave the bags, jump and slide!" Soon after, another distressed crew member yells, "Jump! Jump! Jump! Leave your bags behind!"

Another similar scenario played out on a United Airlines plane that slid off the runway, also at O'Hare Airport. Despite being ordered by the captain to leave their luggage, "several passengers argued" and refused to comply.

Flight attendants interviewed after such incidents have told of their utter dismay at such acts.

One crew member said they encountered a passenger who was "running up the right aisle with a bag over his head," and, when a crew member tried "to get it away from him," he yelled, "I'm taking it with me".

Another told of how a woman didn't listen to orders so the flight attendant attempted to take the bag away. After "a short struggle," the crew member "decided the woman was causing a delay in the evacuation and instructed her to exit the aeroplane with the bag".

The NTSB has urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct research into the issue and to "identify effective countermeasures to reduce any determined risks, and implement the countermeasures".

It would be up to them to decide on whether to implement fines.

However, US Association of Flight Attendants president Sara Nelson said enforcing current laws is more important than creating new ones.

"Apparently the threat of death by incineration fuelled by thousands of gallons of jet fuel isn't enough of a deterrent to stop passengers from taking time to grab carry-on bags during an emergency evacuation," Ms Nelson said.

"The FAA should use existing laws to crack down on passengers endangering themselves and countless others as they put computers, cosmetics and clothing ahead of human life ... Something has got to make these people listen to crew instructions."

Passengers could already face fines of up to $320,000 if criminal charges relating to them interfering with the crews' ability to perform their duties are pressed. However not even aviation experts have heard of anyone being charged over baggage incidents relating to crew interference.

So the final take-home from this all? Really, stop doing this. Right now.