The question is inspired by the recent emergency landing of Ural Airlines Flight 1383. Please correct me if it belongs to Aviation.SE or other site.

An aircraft performs an emergency landing somewhere in the field. The vessel safely lands, no one is injured. AFAIK even in this case everyone is immediately evacuated from the board without their personal items (and likely without shoes not to damage the ramp) since the aircraft may have hidden damages that may lead to fire or something.

Suppose some passenger is perfectly fine with being delivered to the middle of nowhere and wants to get his backpack from the cabin and go away. Can he get the access to the aircraft after evacuation? What is the procedure of regaining personal items?

Some other hypothetical circumstances:

  • the passenger needs not a backpack from the cabin but a bag from the luggage compartment;
  • the passenger needs insulin or other medicine from the backpack;
  • there is a dog in the cage in the luggage compartment which should be let out.

Will any of these or other circumstances affect the decision?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Suppose the bag is at the far end of the luggage compartment? Suppose every passenger has some reason to go back into the plane? As you say the aircraft may have hidden damage. You would have to wait until the aircraft was declared to be safe. $\endgroup$
    – Weather Vane
    Dec 1, 2023 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ This probably belongs on Aviation SE $\endgroup$
    – Midavalo
    Dec 1, 2023 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Midavalo I agree that technically it probably belongs there, but I think it's of interest to all travelers and not just airline professionals. It's also a question that I've never even thought to ask, and is interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Peter M
    Dec 1, 2023 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ Seems like a legal question to me. They tell you to stay away from the aircraft (as they surely will) and you decide to disobey? They like to claim that it's illegal not to follow crew members' instructions (presumably their interpretation of 14 CFR 125.328 Prohibition on Crew Interference). The actual situation seems a bit murky, maybe the violent removal of Dr. Dao from a United aircraft is a precedent. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2023 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


First of all, no airline is going to risk letting passengers back on board a plane after an emergency exit - that would be a huge liability risk for them.

With that said, a quick google found:

This blog

What happens to passengers’ belongings when left in an aircraft after an emergency evacuation?

Typically, the luggage will remain on the aircraft until they can be safely retrieved. If the emergency landing takes place at an airport, the belongings would be taken from the aircraft and transported to the terminal where they will be made available to passengers as soon as possible.

Airlines will make every effort to contact passengers and inform them about the recovery of their belongings. Contact details provided during the booking or check-in process are used to reach out to passengers. They are then instructed on how and where to retrieve their belongings.

And also this forum which talks about the legal responsibilities:

49 CFR 830.10 - Preservation of aircraft wreckage, mail, cargo, and records.

§ 830.10 Preservation of aircraft wreckage, mail, cargo, and records.

(a) The operator of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident for which notification must be given is responsible for preserving to the extent possible any aircraft wreckage, cargo, and mail aboard the aircraft, and all records, including all recording mediums of flight, maintenance, and voice recorders, pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the aircraft and to the airmen until the Board takes custody thereof or a release is granted pursuant to § 831.12(b) of this chapter.

(b) Prior to the time the Board or its authorized representative takes custody of aircraft wreckage, mail, or cargo, such wreckage, mail, or cargo may not be disturbed or moved except to the extent necessary:

(1) To remove persons injured or trapped;

(2) To protect the wreckage from further damage; or

(3) To protect the public from injury.

(c) Where it is necessary to move aircraft wreckage, mail or cargo, sketches, descriptive notes, and photographs shall be made, if possible, of the original positions and condition of the wreckage and any significant impact marks.

(d) The operator of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident shall retain all records, reports, internal documents, and memoranda dealing with the accident or incident, until authorized by the Board to the contrary.

As for your specific scenarios:

  1. The checked baggage should be considered disposable, and the airline will provide what ever is needed by the passenger in the short term (this would also the same scenario as if the baggage was lost in transit)

  2. The insulin dependent passenger should inform the airline, which would lead to consultation with a medical practitioner.

  3. Sorry, but the dog is SOL until the airline is able to retrieve it.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .