What happens if you open the plane door during a flight?

There have been several incidents over the years of passengers attempting to open the plane’s emergency door mid-flight.

Most recently an AirAsia passenger tried to open an aircraft door just before the plane landed in India months before.

According to industry experts, no passenger would ever be strong enough to physically open a plane’s emergency door in the air.

This is because the doors open inward, so the pressure pushing on the surface from the pressurised plane cabin is far too great.  Aviation blogger Jason Rabinowitz told Travel + Leisure: “It’s physically impossible.

“When at cruising altitude, the pressure difference between the outside of the plane and the inside of the plane, which is pressurised, creates a situation where the door cannot open.” If the plane’s door did somehow open mid-flight, the resulting catastrophe would involve “explosive decompression”.

This would cause the plane to rapidly lose air and in the worst cases, people can be sucked out of the aircraft.

In 1988 a hole ripped open in the ceiling of first class on an Aloha Airlines flight, causing a flight attendant to be sucked out. Metal fatigue and maintenance error were blamed for the tragic incident. In 1989 a United Airlines flight was struck by a cargo door failure.  Nine seat belted passengers were sucked out of the plane.

Even though it’s impossible to open the plane’s door mid-flight, there is still a real element of danger if anyone attempts it. If a passenger manages to break the handle or something similar, it is possible this could cause decompression.  This extremely rare circumstance would involve “a hissing sound coming from the door and cold air coming in.”

Oxygen masks would also drop from the ceiling, which only provide enough oxygen for about 15 minutes.