Passengers Evacuated Onto Tarmac After Bagel Burns in St. Louis Airport

On Tuesday around 6 p.m. terminal 2 of the St. Louis airport was evacuated because of a burning bagel.

Airport officials say a bagel burned in a restaurant in Terminal 2 around 6 p.m. Tuesday, setting off smoke detectors and prompting a full evacuation. An estimated 300 to 400 people were required to go outside, where the temperature was 11 degrees.

Is it weird my first thought was you’re supposed to burn the bagels in St. Louis, that it can only make a St. Louis bagel better? If anyone has ever found a decent bagel in St. Louis — or in the Midwest south of Chicago generally — that’s worthy of a comment below.

American Airlines Bagel & Lox

Everyone was evacuated outside — not out the terminal, where they might be able to leave, just out into the cold onto the ‘secure’ tarmac. And then when it was all over everyone had to go back through security.

The airport offers the excuse given for every overreaction, ever: “an abundance of caution.”

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly who notes, “Passengers are herded outside in to 11ºF (-12ºC) weather only to have to endure another security screening moments later… Couldn’t someone in the restaurant just have pulled out a fire extinguisher?”)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The priority pass lounge (Pasta House/Schlafly Beer) is right next to The Great American Bagel Bakery. Wonder if you could take your toasted ravioli and beer to the tarmac!

  2. Morons. So basically they were still evacuating people long after the Great Bagel Inferno of 2017 was put out (probably 4 seconds).

    Actually every story on today’s email update just shows me how lost this poor country has become.


  3. The ongoing problem with airport security in this country is the manner in which it fails. For any process, whether it’s a factory assembly line or fine dining with each course made to order by several cooks, that process can either have layers of oversight and quality control coupled with the ability to modify the process on the fly, or it doesn’t.
    If there are back up plans in place, tiered decision making, etc. then the system will fail gracefully. These would be “factory seconds” or the plate makes it to the diner without the customary garnish for examples.
    Or, the system will fail catastrophically. Catastrophic security failure it appears is the norm for airports since Sept 11th. Nothing has been done to modify the security system in place to allow for graceful failures at our public airports. Mass evacuations occur with predictable regularity, and most if not all are completely unnecessary, a product of faulty system design and failure to correct the obvious deficiencies.
    Does anyone know if this happens as a routine matter in International Airports?

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