Hysteria on the plane. We are all going to die, and how technology is involved


I was returning from Dubai by Emirates plane, as well as in that direction, it was a rather old Boeing 777-300, in

where the economy class 3-4-3 lineup is not the most convenient, since the aisles are narrow and, sitting at it, you are constantly touched by passing people.

I don’t understand the admiration for Emirates, I often have tohear that this is some special airline with an inexpressible level of service. I flew in the economy of this company for the first time, but the business class had not struck my imagination before either - perhaps, having seen a lot of different companies and various service options affects. It is important to make a reservation that before the pandemic, a rare week for me did without a flight somewhere, there were more than two dozen long flights a year. In the same Aeroflot, the status was being developed by the beginning of spring. Therefore, I am well acquainted with different aircraft, as well as I have tried many companies and always prefer our Aeroflot, where possible. There were many adventures in flights, but the situation that I encountered on the way back to Moscow is somewhat unique. An Emirates stewardess confirmed this, saying it was the first time she had ever had such "fun".

The prehistory of the issue is very simple - in Moscow inthe previous days were warmer, the snow was melting, it was raining. On the day of departure, it began to snow, covered the capital with a front of bad weather, and there were flight delays at airports. For example, the Aeroflot flight from Dubai was delayed by almost four hours that day, instead of sixteen, it took off at eight o'clock in the evening. My flight departed at 4:25 pm and was supposed to land in Moscow around 8 pm.

The landing went smoothly, many passengers fromchildren, in line discussed how Moscow would receive us. People looked at the weather forecast on their phones, discussed their business. The usual hustle and bustle, nothing special. The flight was not packed to capacity, no one was sitting next to me.

The first unusual thing was the appearance of a passenger,who was looking for his seat, he just pointed at me with a ticket and asked where he needed to sit. Checkered pants, a trendy shirt, a light tan, and about forty years old. Subtly, he resembled bandits from films about the times of the New Economic Policy, and the tattoos on his fingers spoke for themselves. He explained that the letter F is not a place, but the order of boarding the plane, the place has the letter C. The passenger settled in the chair, without any things, he just took out a couple of packs of cigarettes, a lighter from his pockets and placed it all in the seat pocket. I thought and took off the LA Clippers baseball cap, crumpled it, placed it in the same place as two of my phones.


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Other passengers looked askance, assessed myneighbor, but then preparations for takeoff began, liftoff from the ground, and now we are flying. The food was served very quickly, after which the lights were turned off. The neighbor behaved, frankly speaking, strangely, he took out the phone and began to move it over his head, periodically peering at the screen. Then he did the same operation with the second phone, even removed the cover from it. Then he stood in the aisle and began to reach for the ceiling, peering at the screen. Fifteen minutes later, he turned to me and asked if I had mobile Internet, he needed to know when the flight was to one of the Russian cities. He explained that mobile Internet will not work here, there is only Wi-Fi on board. The man calmed down and asked the flight attendant for painkillers.

Any deviation from the usual on board the aircraftannoying, so everyone who saw the passes with phones looked intently at my neighbor. At the toilet, a man from another salon asked what was going on. He said that we observed searches for mobile Internet. Smiled at each other, anything can happen and forgot about it.

Moscow met us with bad weather, the captain announcedthat we are preparing for landing, the backs were brought to a vertical position, the folding tables were removed. I watched the series that I managed to download before the flight into the memory of the smartphone, I didn’t want to read it. The plane began to descend, at some point the afterburner was turned on, and we suddenly went up, you feel good at such moments, you are pressed into the chair and the engines sound different. Five minutes later we gained altitude, and the captain announced that the airport would not allow us to land, so we would wait for permission. For the next two hours we circled over Moscow.

Periodically, the crew announced that we expectedlanding, but we are not given permission. As a result, the captain announced that we were running out of fuel, and we were leaving for an alternate airfield in St. Petersburg. No one on board showed impatience, hysterics, everyone sat quietly and calmly, many dozed. Little children were crying, they were tired of flying, and their mothers comforted them. Landing in St. Petersburg went smoothly, no problems. The crew announced over the loudspeaker that we would now refuel the plane and fly to Moscow.

People got a connection, earned the Internet and nowThis is where the metamorphosis began. While we were flying, several episodes of the series appeared, which I watch, put them on download and calmly sat in an armchair, played on the phone. I took off my headphones and was surprised to feel a man walking past me, he touched my shoulder. The next thing was the realization that he was quietly muttering: "We're all going to die, I'm not going anywhere." For the next ten minutes, the man ran around the cabins of the plane and spoke louder and louder that he needed to get off the ground, he would not fly anywhere, the weather was bad in Moscow and there was no point in dying. The crew tried to seat him in his place, but he refused, and gradually a whole group of sympathizers gathered around him. Another man began to fight in exactly the same hysteria, there were several girls who experienced the same emotions. For two people, a doctor had to be called, they could not be on board the plane, one of the girls wringed her hands, sobbed a little later and said: “I need phenazepam, without these pills I will die, I can’t be here.” A circus tent at the exit, there is no other way to characterize this group of comrades, people turned on each other and came up with explanations why the plane would crash and it was no longer possible to fly on it.

An Eastern man in his forties, shrillly shouted,coming out of hysterics, he demanded to be released from the Emirates board, since he is a Russian citizen. A little later, he demanded a police squad, as he was being held by force on the plane, the girls echoed him. A representative of the airline got on board from the ground, he began to explain the rules - only all passengers along with their belongings can get off the plane. It is impossible to disembark individual passengers, these are the requirements of the Russian border service. For thirty minutes they tried to convince people of hysteria, but nothing worked.

In parallel, people communicated with their relatives,several people appeared who also decided that they needed to immediately go to the ground. One girl's mother looked out the window at her home in Moscow and did not see the sky, such dense snow. Another girl was shaking the iPhone, on the screen of which there was a weather forecast, snowflakes filled the screen and she said that the snow did not stop, you could not fly.

My neighbor showed the weather forecast with detailedfront, it turned out to be much more advanced than those who looked simply at the forecast. The representative of the airline explained that the problem was not in the snow, but in the lane and traction with the lane. The captain refused to land, as he was not satisfied with the friction coefficient reported by the airport. At the same time, all other flights landed at Domodedovo and other airports.

People were collecting information from their friendsand acquaintances, actually bullied the crew, demanded something incomprehensible from him. They poked their phones, explained that it was impossible to fly. Ultimately, a company representative said that those who wish can quietly take their things and go down to the ground. About ten people got off in St. Petersburg.

Then we started a new entertainment, wechecked with the crew hand luggage. So that there are no other people's things. It took about twenty minutes, then an hour and a half of waiting, which was filled with discussions of what awaits us in Moscow. Someone prayed, someone dictated messages: “Mom, everything is fine with us, but if anything, we love you.” Having removed the hysterical passengers from the board, they removed the reason for panic, people were more or less calm, although the crew was tired and to some extent reacted to the situation, which was clearly abnormal due to some of the passengers. I think that thanks to those who went down, we spent about two more hours in St. Petersburg, their luggage was searched for and unloaded.

It seemed to me that this was the end of the worries,but I was wrong. Frosty air was in front, and the smell of strong cigarettes was in the back. People winced, and the stewardess began to ask who smoked. My neighbor across the aisle did not know a single word of English, but as if in the “Peculiarities of National Fishing” he clearly perceived what was happening and immediately said: “I smoked and what, I’m nervous and I have the right. You took me to Moscow, but you brought me to St. Petersburg!”. The head steward came and began to give a long lecture about how this should never be done, you put the lives of 300 people in danger. The communication was actually one-way, the stewardess translated, but the passenger inserted his remarks where he saw fit. It turned out that he smoked in the toilet, and threw the bull into the trash with paper. As you understand, the next stage of our expectation began, it took another half an hour, or even more.

The steward freaked out and called the police squad,the proceedings were lengthy - name and surname, age, judged or not. They demanded a document from the crew on paper, the crew explained that they had all the documents in the iPad. As the policeman said, there will be no act, there will be no consequences for the passenger. He reprimanded in public, took the word not to smoke, and that was it. We flew to Moscow.

The return flight to Moscow was uneventful, I really wanted to sleep and get home faster. It was snowing outside, the tractor was raking snowdrifts.

Realized what happened in flight the very nextday. Panic always kills, but it is impossible to calm hysterics, when men are hysterical, it looks disgusting. It can be scary for everyone, but the question is how to work with fear. And here you can’t rely on “knowledge” from the Internet, weather forecasts and the like, you can just as well read horoscopes. You have already boarded the plane, which means you trust the pilots with your life. The crew showed excessive caution and this, rather, speaks in their favor than against them, the captain decided not to land until he was satisfied with the quality of the runway. And this is a big plus, he did not take risks (remembers the story of the SuperJet, where the human factor led to the death of people).

The problem with "knowledge" from the Internet is thathysterical people got the crew going; people get tired and, when tired, are capable of making a mistake. There was just such a situation, I decided for myself that if the plane does not take off before three, then I will go down to the ground in St. Petersburg. Moreover, in this situation, as in a mirror, many stories that happen around us every day are reflected - people believe that they are right, they appeal to knowledge gained on the Internet. In my situation on the plane, it was just clearly visible, a sort of slice of our society, a microcosm. I caught myself thinking that the phone is really a reflection of modernity, but you still need to be able to use it, not to reach for the sky when there can be no connection and it is absent (there is either a connection on board or it is not - the search for a better signal does not make sense) .

Technologies and devices will not replace brains, butthe nervousness that had been built up on board disintegrated into separate pockets of squabbling as the passengers found out among themselves whose weather forecast was more accurate and better, whether it was worth flying or not. It's good that we don't have votes on whether to fly or not, and the situation was not an emergency. If we got into other conditions, I am sure that many would choose not the path that is guaranteed to lead to safety, but the path that seems safe to them due to age and beliefs. Hysterics in such situations are always the first to suffer.

The conclusion from this story is one and it is extremely simple.Please try to always think and do it rationally, putting emotions aside. Otherwise, you will be filled with fear, you will begin to react without the slightest thought, and eventually other people may suffer from this.

P.S. You can read another story about turbulence below, it was also an adventure. Spillikins №387. Mom, are we all going to die? Tragedies of our world

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