Travel Tip: Always leave your shoes on until the plane is in the air


Yesterday’s fire onboard British Airways flight BA2276 reminded me of why I always leave my shoes on until the plane is safely in the air (if I choose to take them off at all).

Here’s video of the emergency evacuation in Las Vegas. While the fire department arrived at the scene to put the fire out, it still made for a scary few minutes and a rapid exit from the plane.

While the odds of an aborted takeoff such as this one are slim, is being shoeless for a few extra minutes really worth the potential risk of having to evacuate the aircraft without them on?

Always leave your shoes on, that way you 1) don’t end up having to scramble to put them on if an incident such as yesterday’s fire occurs, thus delaying your own safety as well as that of others around you and 2) don’t end up having to exit the plane shoeless if your shoes end up somewhere not near you during the ensuing chaos.

Side note: Keeping shoes or slippers near your bed is also a good idea if you live in an area prone to earthquakes. Many earthquake injuries are caused by people stepping on broken glass after they are woken up by the quake and then go investigate the damage.

Also, it should go without saying, but this advice only pertains to you if your feet and socks don’t smell – if either of them do smell, then leave your shoes on AT ALL TIMES.

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    • When I go to an airport I find many people wear flip flops or flimsy sandals on an airplane, and it’s not always the best idea. If something like this incident or there’s an emergency, having a pair of sturdy sneakers might be better for getting out of the plane. 😉

      • Yeah. Even considering that incidents like this are rare, people having their feet run over by suitcases or having bags fall on them happens all the time. It’s one thing to wear shoes that are easily removable at security (thank you, PreCheck, so I don’t have to deal with that), but flip-flops can be unsafe. Of course, I tend to worry about things like that more than some people!

        • Me too! But you can never be too prepared in situations like that.