Emirates’ Fire catches the racist spin from a flight crew!

A couple of days ago, Emirates had one of their planes on fire, an event where luckily all the passengers were evacuated, but one firefighter died in the incident. One of these passengers had the time to film this video on his phone, and somehow while the others who were trying to tag along an overhead bag were at fault, I haven’t heard criticism for this guy.

Unfortunately, it did not end there. Some airline crew at another airline made a dig at the passengers, and it was not funny. Full of racist slander, such as fucking rats and untamable bunch. Click on the picture if you want a detailed look.

IMG_7588 IMG_7589 IMG_7590 IMG_7591

I’m getting real tired of crew giving the EK521 incident in Dubai a racist and an uncouth twist. After all it’s not the first time that passengers on board an aircraft have behaved irrationally in a crisis situation.

Read this US Airways excerpt published in The Guardian:

The plane hit the water and Sanderson, sitting in 15-A, smacked his head on the seat in front of him. He lifted it to see “controlled chaos” unfolding around him.

“People started running up and down aisles. People were yelling and pushing,” Sanderson said. As the 40-degree river water sloshed through the fuselage, some passengers clambered over seats – ignoring calls to “Calm down!”

One woman wouldn’t get off without her luggage and had to be shoved through the door, Sanderson said. He went back and retrieved her purse to calm her.

US Airways Hudson River

Flight: US Airways flight 1549, Date: 15 January 2009 Crash landing: The Hudson river, New York

Or, remember the British Airways plane last year which caught fire in Las Vegas, another of the western world, which had passengers leaving the plane with their bags. Have a look here.

My past career in the airline industry and my own experience of dealing with unexpected situations prompted me to share my point of view on human behavior in these circumstances that none of ever dream of facing. As an ex- airline employee, I can tell you that that we are trained to deal with situations that passengers can only think about. Handling flight disruptions, medical emergencies, terror threats, dealing with suspicious objects, the list is long. Though there is one thing that is drilled in our brains “Keep Calm” and that comes with patience and practice. So every time the lady at the check-in is polite to you even though you are having an argument about your excess baggage that you want to carry for free; and the hostess on the airplane reminds you for the tenth time to push your seat back upright before landing and you choose to ignore her, they are all practicing patience.

In my own career I have dealt with a suspected package on a B-777 aircraft that was ready to board with 200+ passengers, I was all alone for almost 20 minutes with that black package until the cops took charge. Death of a passenger on board where I had to mask my own sentiments and follow processes in a professional manner. I did break down once I was back home  after a 22-hour long work shift. And denying boarding to a passenger who later was confirmed by authorities to be of suspect nature. And I tell you that you would have never seen a sweat trickle down my face in any of these situations because I was trained to keep calm and not give into the emotions. Like any other airline crew, I would assess the present situation, think about the future, and immediately start acting towards a resolution. There is no time to be pessimistic and think about the past.

However, this morning I was thinking to myself would I have behaved the same if I was a passenger on board. Perhaps not and here’s why. As a passenger I am not in the frame of mind to deal with an air crash. I don’t board flights ever so often like crew do. Neither am I trained to deal with emergency situations. Yes, the crew does explain me theoretically how to open the emergency exit door but can I really open it in times of need. Maybe not! I perhaps would want to grab my passport, my only piece of identity in a foreign land and run for my life.

Years ago, there was hoax gun firing heard outside an airport and I was working in the terminal building dealing with a hundreds of passengers. The minute we heard people screaming outside we shouted for everyone to duck down and lie still on the floor. A lady of non-Indian origin ran towards a moving baggage belt and sat on it thinking she would be safer arriving where the bags are stowed on the tarmac. Little did she realize that she will be offloaded in the out of gauge section.

The point is that people irrespective of caste, creed and culture behave irrationally in tough situations. Some freeze, some go numb, some sit and pray though each one thinks about the future, re-assures himself that this just a passing nightmare and acts for the time when things are going to be fine.

So stop over analyzing because you were not in that plane that went up in flames, cut the drama because there is no evidence that you will be as cool as a cucumber when you face a similar situation and do away with the racist retort because above is an example of how Americans and Indians behaved pretty much the same when caught in similar situations.

Let us just thank God that every single person on that aircraft is seeing the daylight today. And pray for the departed soul of the firefighter who was not so lucky.

While I don’t advocate you run with your bags in an emergency situation, I also don’t advocate you call another person names just because he is not as privileged as you are perhaps.

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  1. Funny how some folks (birds of the same feather as K Thomas Campbell, presumably?) are trying to give it a spin and defend a guy who bared his dark racist orientation. Their untamed hatred and vile is far too obvious and it is hilarious how some readers jump to join the spit fest. How are their comments and chortles not racism, I wonder. Those who hold such disgust for a specific bunch of people shouldn’t try to make a living by settling in M.East and flying to those untameable lands (I decided not to be realistic and avoided using the word ‘serving the untameable’… it might give you a cardiac arrest). Let us admit that we are all smart enough to know when racism is indeed ‘racism’. Don’t dumb it down, you fail. I am curious to know if Mr. Thomas Campbell is still holding his job with the Airline and enjoying his trips with the bunch of uncouth rats of India. If I was the Airline, I would be scared to let this guy loose on my aircraft.

    • Well said Vick. This is a crystal clear, unadulterated, on-your-face display of racism regardless of the creative spin doctoring. This dude K Thomas Campbell needs a licking and an opportunity to soul search during the HR appraisal and the option to reform or get out. Am I too generous to offer him the appraisal opportunity? But I guess he is far too eager to keep flying with the rats and keep the fat pay despite the obvious discomforts.

  2. That person Wes can shove a dick inside his/her big fucking mouth. ‘Untameable uncouth bunch of fucking rats’ yeah sure why would that be racist. It would’ve been so cool if a Yank or Brit did it. Right ?

  3. I agree with your commentary. It’s difficult to truly understand being in the situation standing on the sidelines. I work as an ER physician, and the despair that people exhibit are from one spectrum to another. It is easier to judge than to understand. Personally, I would be quick to part with my luggage, but only after second thought. I surely can understand why people would want to cling on to their life’s most personally-held belongings, but ultimately the people who denigrate the actions of those on the flight exhibit their own ignorance. Everyone thinks their own beliefs are correct, and anything to the contrary is inferior. Every person’s life experience is different and thus one’s values can vary from one to another.

  4. Let’s give these airlines a miss and fly Jet and Air India, our fellow nationals who don’t have a problem with us. Then let’s see how many of these cabin crew can retain their jobs if they don’t get to fly to/from India which they hate so much.

  5. “…luckily all the passengers were evacuated…”

    You don’t evacuate people. You evacuate buildings, planes, and boats. Evacuating someone means to clear out their bowels.

    • Evacuate the bowels? Heard it for the very first time. Getting too worked up to think straight David? Or is the cheap spirit playing on the thinly populated gray cells?

  6. While I don’t agree with the choice of words used I can understand the frustration and where it came from. As a passenger I dread flying to and from India and around India. Indians travelers are some of the worst, even lower than mainland Chinese and thats saying a lot. They stand during take off and landing, treat the crew like the hired help, travel with huge amounts of luggage, leave bathrooms filthy, are loud, shove and push, and worst the plane usually ends up smelling like curry. If you have to deal with this day in and day out, when you see a video like that its easy to just rant and put and entire race down. While I don’t agree that all Indians are like that or that even the choice of words use I can see where the frustration came from.

    • Some of those comments were racist for sure but for the most part people were making observations about people in general. It truly was a disgusting sight seeing people do that during the evacuation procedure.

    • As an Indian who has travelled extensively in the West and the Middle East, I can vouch that idiots have no color, race or nationality… for every indian you see standing up while the plane is landing, you see girls in their late teens, pissed drunk and vomitting on the streets late on friday evenings in western cities…

      And Brian, curry is our food, for me what is delicious might be puke inducing for you…. The smell of meat is itself disgusting for most Indians… do you have any idea, the stench from the butchery section in any western supermarket??

      If you dont like the smell and sounds of India, why dont you just stay away… coming here and selectively enjoying the benefits of any nation or its people is called opportunism…

      K Thomas Campbell – yeah, that is the cabin crew guy who referred to Indians as rats – should have know better before joining a middle eastern airline….

      The middle east is packed with Indians employed there, mostly those who couldnt make it in the extremely competitive job market in India… and a majority of them are labourers and menial workers who are not exposed to western social norms, would never have ever even flown if not for the fact that some rich arab is flying him in to do some job the arab himself doesnt want to do…

      And when you choose to work for a middle eastern airline that was built on these lucrative sectors ferrying labourers back and forth between south asia and the middle east, primarily because you are unable to succeed in your own country and maybe for some tax free dollars , you cant be choosy and demand the new glamorous routes to the west that have recently been added…… You go in for the dollars, knowing very well that your primary job will be to serve these uneducated indians back and forth, deal with the pushing and the shoving and still smile away….. That is what your job description screams out!. You chose the job, the job didnt choose you!

      Sorry, if you want to vent, go home and vent! Face book is a very public social medium meant for you to AIR your thoughts and memories…. K Thomas Campbell is nothing but a lowly racist and from your post, for all your excuses, you seem no different!

  7. Great post! We should change your blog title to “Live with a social justice warrior.” That’s a great article generation tactic: scan the web for comments made by private citizens regarding an aviation incidents, find one such comment that leaves a sour taste in your mouth, and voila! You have a click bait article ready to go!

    As for your charge of racism, there is scant evidence to support it. It seems incredibly more likely that the commenter is not keen on Indian culture or nationality. At any rate, there is nothing to discern race as the basis of the commenter’s angst. You also may be interested to know that Indian subcontinent people’s are classified scientifically in the Caucasian race. Do you think the commenter was railing against Caucasians?

    I know the cool thing to do these days is to charge racism at the drop of a hat, and then fight against it (regardless of whether it was ever there in the first place), but you should be aware that this widespread behavior of generation snowflake tends to lead to a “Boy who cried wolf” scenario. By flooding the discussion forums with specious charges of racism, you and your ilk detract attention from, and possibly impair the credibility of, those alleging genuine issues of racism. Quite a terrible thing, indeed. But, if you aren’t worried about any of that and just want to generate clicks and revenue for the good ol’ blog, then keep on keepin’ on!

    • How is it not rascist?
      “F***ing rats”, “some people are just wasting air”, “Indians aren’t the best race out there..Those laptop protecting and bag grabbing people..”, “Just trying to get them to put their seat belts on is a struggle”
      I wish such posters on FB were as aware as you that Indians are scientifically categorized as Caucasians; but racism is more often centered around color than actual race. Not “being keen” on a particular culture doesn’t give anyone the right to belittle people from that culture, and if they do they’re rascists. This isn’t banter between two friends of different races; this is all-out bashing, singling out a particular race because they aren’t, as Shipra put it, “as privileged as” the commenters.

  8. Good post, I hope the person who posted on FB reads this.

    I actually think that he/she didn’t analyse it at all. It was just a hateful, racist rant against Indians.

    I understand their difficulties while handing pax travelling to/from India to Middle East. What I don’t understand is why EK, EY, QR etc. have at least one staff knowing local language? All of them surely have 100s of Indians on their rolls.

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