On July 13th a video surfaced of the aftermath aboard the upper deck lounge of an Emirates A380. According to Paddle your own Kanoo, the incident is said to have taken place on Friday, July 12th. The flight was reportedly Emirates flight EK449 from Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand.
We can see in the video (below) that serving trolleys lie sideways with their contents spilled. Trays of cakes and sandwiches can be seen all over the floor, along with bottles of water and alcohol. It’s predictable that unsecured items like these would be strewn about in a case of turbulence. However, seeing a piece of an exit sign cracked and on the floor truly demonstrates the severity of this particular incident.
Below is the original video of the incident:
— Seref Sezgin (@SEREF737) July 13, 2019
The upper deck lounge is the Emirates A380’s exclusive onboard snack and drink area. It is recognizable by its signature horseshoe shape bar. There is a possibility that there wasn’t as much food on the counter as the photo above, however, even just half of the amount would have been a significant mess. Furthermore, multiple glass bottles of liqueurs and spirits can be seen behind the flight attendant.
Twice in a week
The day before, on July 11th, an Air Canada Boeing 777-200 was heading from Vancouver to Sydney. However, partway through the flight, it made a diversion heading to Hawaii. The reason for this was that flight AC33, was hit by severe turbulence, injuring 37 passengers according to the BBC. Of these 37, nine sustained serious injuries.
In the video, the large and heavy champagne bottles are clearly on the floor. Unsecured during severe turbulence, there is certainly a risk of a serious head injury with items like that flying through the air.
Despite happening the day before, it should be made clear that an incident of this severity a rare circumstance. In many cases, there will be enough warning time between feeling the first shakes and experiencing the worst of it.
This lead time is crucial. According to Quora.com, one of the most “upvoted” answers with regards to turbulence procedure is securing the serving carts. It makes absolute sense that these items are the largest, heaviest, and most dangerous on board. However, it’s not known if Emirates has a unique turbulence procedure for its A380 lounge – more specific than just trying to secure every possible item in the area.
Is turbulence getting worse?
Along with reporting the Air Canada incident, we asked the question “Is Turbulence getting Worse?“. This answer seems to be yes – with turbulence expected to get progressively worse in the future.
Apparently, this will be driven by climate change. In fact, according to the University of Reading, turbulence could increase by as much as 181% at 39,000ft by 2050-2080. The worst hit area will be the North Atlantic – an incredibly busy flight corridor.
We reached out to Emirates for a comment on the incident. However, at the time of publishing, we have yet to hear back. There will be updates to this article if an official statement comes out.