Unusual: Southwest Airlines Evacuates Passengers Down Slide — While Still In Front of Gate

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 headed for San Jose evacuated passengers out of the forward slide while the aircraft was just pushing back from the gate in Orange County, California last night.

The plane’s auxiliary power unit caught fire and was extinguished by the aircraft’s fire suppression system. Flight 2123 had 139 passengers and 5 crew onboard. Passengers eventually traveled to the airport named for the Bush Administration’s token Democrat cabinet member, who as Secretary of Transportation oversaw the creation of the TSA.

Slide evacuations are unusual enough, doubly so while the plane is still in front of its gate, but in an emergency you get passengers away from fire quickly — and don’t wait to pull the jetway back to the plane (which would have required bringing an employee down to the jet to guide it in the first place).

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. “Passengers eventually traveled to the airport named for the Bush Administration’s token Democrat cabinet member, who as Secretary of Transportation oversaw the creation of the TSA.” Is this Trivia Tuesday, Gary?

  2. That WordPress plugin “Insert political comment tangentially related to the post subject matter in hopes of eliciting further reader engagement” was used nicely and successfully here.

  3. That comment that we are commenting on literally made the post 25% longer, and I had to read it more than twice just to figure out what he meant. I feel like he should just write a separate post about San Jose and title it “CrAzY! Airport Named after Democrat Cabinet Member” and just leave it at that.

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