On Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, a British Airways jet caught fire at the Las Vegas airport, sending smoke billowing into the air, after suffering what the pilot described as a “catastrophic failure” of the left engine. The plane, a Boeing 777 heading from the Las Vegas McCarran airport to London Gatwick, could be seen with flames around its fuselage.

british-airways-fire1-600x356The pictures of a burning jetliner in Las Vegas were certainly riveting. But as the plane burst into smoke and flames, some observers saw something even more startling: people stopped during their evacuation to grab their luggage. Authorities are certainly concerned about planes that burst into flames, but they’re also worried that we’d risk our lives to grab our carry-on bags.

So, what’s the big deal with grabbing one carry-on bag? The FAA requires planes to be evacuated within 90 seconds, but as a Chicago-based air traffic controller wrote:

Let’s say the average delay time per bag is 5 seconds. This includes the time needed to reach up to open the overhead compartment, pulling the bag down, and the extra delay hauling it through a crowded aisle. If half of the 170 people on board Flight 2276 took the time to take their bag the evacuation would have taken an additional 7 MINUTES longer than necessary. Imagine being the last one to exit the smoke-filled cabin knowing that your one minute evacuation time is now over 7 minutes!

One veteran pilot with a major U.S. airline said, “We’re always shaking our head. It doesn’t matter what you say, people are going to do what they do.” Or as one blogger summarized this news story: “People love their carry-ons more than life itself.”

Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21).

Just saying . . .

Breathe Peace,

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