Pakistan Airlines Passenger Accidentally Opened Plane's Emergency Exit Door, Mistaking It For the Toilet

A female Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger delayed a flight for hours last week after she accidentally opened an emergency exit door aboard a plane thinking it was the bathroom door.

PIA flight PK702, which was scheduled to fly from Manchester, England to Islamabad, Pakistan at 9:20 p.m. local time on Friday, was delayed for seven hours, the airline said. In a statement to CNN, a PIA spokesperson revealed that some passengers were offloaded after the woman opened the emergency door while the plane was still on the ground, automatically deploying the exit slide.

The female passenger — whose identity has not been revealed — opened the L5 door at the rear of the aircraft because she believed it would lead to an adjacent bathroom, the spokesperson said. The incident occurred while the fasten seatbelt signs were active. All passengers aboard the flight have been confirmed safe in the incident.

Cabin crew aboard commercial flights are usually sat at emergency exits upon take off. It is unclear why they failed to prevent the passenger from opening the door on this occasion.

"We regret the delay of PK771, which is an unfortunate consequence of the delay of PK702, caused due to a passenger opening the emergency door," the official PIA Twitter page said. "We strongly urge passengers to follow security instructions as such mishaps result in inconvenience of hundreds of other passengers."

Following the incident, the plane finally left Manchester at 5 a.m. the next morning, according to The Independent, and arrived in Pakistan at 4:10 p.m.

The lost exit slide resulted in the aircraft losing its evacuation capacity. To address this issue, the flight was only able to depart after 38 passengers offered to catch a later plane.

"All passengers were provided dinner. The offloaded passengers were provided with transportation and hotel accommodation and will be adjusted on the next available flight," a PIA spokesperson said on Saturday, according to the news outlet. "PIA regrets the inconvenience caused to its passengers due to this incident."

Despite the airline's efforts, some offloaded passengers still complained about various elements of the ordeal, including that their baggage had been left in Manchester.

"@Official_PIA pathetic service from pia. I am one of the 38 passengers who voluntarily off loaded from PK702 so it can fly to islamabad only on the condition that all 38 of us will get our luggage," one passenger tweeting under the handle @WaterLileee wrote. "First you did not give it to us in Manchester that it's going to take time [sic]."

"So don't worry it will be taken to Pakistan on your next flight," the passenger added. "Then when we reached here today we were told half of our luggage is still at Manchester airport. We have suffered a lot. You even took our luggage tokens, who is responsible for this pathetic service?"

Pakistan International Airlines
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 747-300 passenger plane makes its final approach for landing at the airport in Islamabad on September 13, 2013. A passenger traveling on Pakistan International Airlines flight 702 on Friday opened the emergency exit door on a plane while it was still on the ground because he accidentally mistook it for the toilet door. Getty/Farooq Naeem