Friday, September 26, 2014

emergency selfies

I recently read an article regarding selfies in an emergency situation.
"For many frightened air passengers, the best part about surviving a plane incident is living to tweet about it."
Suzanne and I ended a trip recently and walked into an emergency situation at the airport.  A gunman from an robbery in Tempe had ended a police chase by abandoning his car at the airport and tried to get lost in the crowd.  (Unfortunately, he was trying to get lost in a building that has an abundance of surveillance cameras. His picture was plastered all over the news stations - a red shirt and dreadlocks. One picture showed him having taken off his shirt, but a bare chested man with dreadlocks doesn't blend into the crowd either).
Anyway, so we ended our flight, got off the plane and found the pedestrian traffic stopped at the end of the hallway.  There was no communication (announcements, loudspeakers etc) and we were left to figure out what was going on. One salesman at a kiosk felt he had a captive audience to sell his credit card with bonus frequent flier miles. One woman who looked like she was dressed as an airport employee, but was actually a bank employee, also selling frequent flier miles, yelled out at the crowd: "You all have phones! Look it up yourself ! It's on the news. Quit asking me!"
So Suzanne and I found a comfortable bench to send out messages on facebook and chat with our friends about being on lock down at the airport. Some friends hadn't heard that anything was going on, Other friends had more information and were sending us links to the local new station to read what the current situation was. The situation could have been so much worse, we could have been locked down in the plane before we were released into the airport (which I think happened to some flights - that would have made me crazy and claustrophobic!) We were actually in a safe wing of the airport, so that obviously could have been worse. And even when we were shuttled out of the building, it wasn't a 110 degree day in August, so that could have been worse too.  
Suzanne and I entertained ourselves sending pictures on facebook and doing a crossword puzzle and reading.  When we were finally released, I was worried that the baggage claim area would be a mess with all the flights coming in for a couple hours. But we will never know if they were a mess, because we were directed downstairs, and then straight out of the building!  No information, no direction, just "get out".  People were saying we were getting bussed somewhere.  It really was weird to be escorted out of a building and then buses started coming to the curb and . . . I guess we were supposed to get on the bus??  Anyway, we took the airport bus to the Light Rail Station, bought a one-way ticket to Central Phoenix and asked Brady to come get us down at Camelback. Brady had tried to come to the airport to pick us up before we realized what was going on. He said he couldn't get near the terminal and the traffic was crazy and congested, so we sent him back home until things smoothed out. We drove back down to the airport later that evening to retrieve our luggage. I felt sorry for the baggage claims personnel. What a mess!
Apparently Suzanne and I are of the opinion that selfies and cameras are appropriate in an emergency. I suppose we weren't really in an emergency, just a "situation". But I think getting our cameras out to document life - good, bad, or otherwise - is something that is more and more prevalent. 
"So what do you think of plane emergency selfies: Do they make light of a serious situation? Or are they a cool way to celebrate survival — and to let loved ones know you’re okay."


Suzanne Barker said...

Obviously, I think they are appropriate. Smirk
Truly, it depends on what is going on. I didn't think about doing it until I saw someone else doing it. And I think I was only doing it, because I wasn't really scared or worried. If I was really scared or worried, don't think I would be doing it, unless I was asking someone to send a posse to help.

Cynthia said...

I agree -- I think if there were something serious going on, the camera wouldn't be on our minds, but as it was in our situation, we were just chatting with family friends who were feeding us more info than we had. I really don't see anything wrong with it.