A British Airways new hire cost his new employer £50,000 after inadvertently deploying an emergency plane slide on a 777 jet. Talk about an egregious first day on the job!
Rookie Error: British Airways Flight Attendant Incurs £50,000 In Expenses During First Day On Job After Accidental Slide Deployment
When the purser announces, “Arm doors and cross-check” it means that the plane is ready to depart and the doors are set such that if opened, an inflatable slide will automatically deploy that can be used for egress.
While differences in pressures between inside the plane and outside the plane prevent any aircraft door from being opened in-flight, while the plane is on the ground one can still open the aircraft door. When armed, even inadvertently opening the door will trigger the deployment of the slide.
This is what happened on BA75 from London (LHR) to Lagos, Nigeria (LOS) on Friday, January 13, 2023. A brand new flight attendant on his very first flight somehow managed to open the emergency exit door, thus unleashing the slide and also unleashing a cascade of expenses and delays for his employer.
The slide cannot simply be deflated and put back in place. There is a complex mechanism that enables it to rapidly inflate and with no easy fix (the slide cannot be re-used), the plane was forced out of service.
A British Airways Boeing 777-200ER (G-VIIK) was pushing back whilst the emergency slide had opened
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— M Zulqarnain B (@MZulqarnainBut1) January 13, 2023
British Airways commendably found another aircraft and was able to (relatively) quickly get the flight on its way with the same crew–minus the rookie.
The UK Sun reports the young man was not fired but was demoted back to training. His mistake is thought to have cost British Airways about £50,000 when factoring in that the mishap caused a four-hour delay, including a missed takeoff slot, ruined slide, compensation for the passengers onboard, and additional duty pay for the other members of the flight crew.
A British Airways spokesperson explained:
“The aircraft returned to stand and customers disembarked normally. We apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused, provided them with refreshment vouchers, and arranged a replacement aircraft so that they could continue their journey as planned.”
Oh shute! What a tragic unforced error.
A rookie flight attendant had quite a first day on the job. After inadvertently deploying the emergency slide, he now has slid back to training. Meanwhile, British Airways handled the situation as well as could be expected, getting passengers to Lagos only about four hours late. I bet that’s a mistake that the flight attendant will never make again!
image: @MZulqarnainBut1 / Twitter