KLM Flight Crew Who Put Out Fire Are Heroes In My Book

You may have heard about the incident in Bangkok wherein a small fire broke out in an overhead compartment of a KLM flight and was promptly and professionally extinguished by the cabin crew.

While the story is a good one, especially as no one was hurt, the comments are where the action is really at – as usual.

Several commenters are quick to praise the response of the cabin crew. While others are even quicker to dismiss the efforts.

Attending these kinds of emergencies is part of their job, and part of what they train for, ffs. What next? “Dramatic footage of barman serving customer!” ~Allan K Preston

while I appreciate the crew did what they did , but it wasn’t a life or death matter so I would keep the “hailing” proportionate. ~mailmailer

Fire extinguisher used to put out a very minor fire – hardly worth a “hail”! Exaggeration again. ~TellitAsiTis

I guess I’m just in a grumpy-old-man mood today because, frankly, I just don’t understand where these commenters are coming from.

Why not praise the cabin crew? How bad does a situation have to become before praise is warranted? Would their actions have been more praiseworthy had they let the fire grow and the video had showed them leading passengers to the exits in a rush to evacuate everyone before the flames and noxious fumes engulfed them all?

No. I side with the following:

The kind of girl you need in an emergency, able to keep her cool. Shows the training they go through ,not as though there are fires on planes everyday. ~Albert

Well done to this crew member! Your fellow cabin crew salute you! ~Ross

A fire can destroy a plane within a matter of minutes killing everyone on board. Well done to this flight attendant, this is exactly why cabin crew are trained, and on board, by law. ~MangoBear

What do you think? Am I, and others, being too loose with our praise? Is this sort of thing just part of a flight attendants’ expected duties and those who extinguished the fire should simply get a “Satisfactory” grade for the flight in question?

Me? I’ll continue to heap praise on heroes of all stripes – whether they are responding desperately and bravely to an out-of-control situation, or calmly and bravely to prevent a situation from getting out of control.

Job exceptionally well done to this flight crew. I hope I’m so lucky to have an equally professional crew on all of my future flights.

Read the article and comments in their entirety: Dramatic moment KLM flight attendant extinguished fire ’caused by lithium ion battery in passenger’s hand luggage’ on flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok

Heroes in the Pavillion” by Ewen Roberts. CC BY 2.0.



  1. Yes, it is their job. More importantly, it is a job that they apparently handled quite well, as the only “victim” seems to be a carry-on item, and not a scorched aircraft with folks asphyxiating because of smoke. I agree – kudos to the crew is the correct response, along with a bottle of whatever they like to relax with.

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