Coventry University Study into Hand Baggage Retrieval Behaviour
Coventry University’s Human Factors Department is
undertaking a study into passenger Hand Baggage
Retrieval Behaviour following passenger behaviour in
recent incidents involving evacuations.
The study will explore the issues around the problem
and will examine past events and detailed behaviours.
The aim of the study is to identify potential interventions
that can be tested, with subsequent evaluating
of those solutions.
The study will start with an investigation into passenger
hand baggage behaviour during emergency aircraft
evacuations with the goal of first identifying and then
improving evacuation behaviours.
Initially the work will examine where passengers store
their hand baggage. This will then lead on to ascertaining
why baggage is stored in this manner. Researchers will
seek to gain an understanding of passengers’ knowledge
of cabin baggage procedures and their comprehension
of the implications of certain actions plus their understanding
of the reasons behind certain on-board rules
and industry advice.
The study aims to look specifically at passenger storage
habits around valuable items and their attitudes towards
cabin storage versus hold storage and the reasons
why they might choose one over the other. It aims to
understand passenger perception of likelihood of
bag retrieval in various emergency situations. It will
research passenger knowledge of procedures and will
then aim to find suitable solutions.
Initial findings from passengers suggest that they are
particularly upset about losing their passports, mobile
‘phones, laptops and medication.
Initial studies giving passengers two scenarios to consider,
one in which there was no immediate threat noticeable
and one in which a fire was evident, yielded results that
in the first scenario 73% said they would retrieve their
bag, with this figure rising to 86% if it contained valuables
while in the ‘fire’ threat scenario 38% said they would
take their belongings, with this rising to 48% where
valuables were concerned.
The high value of the contents of bags was the main
reason cited as to why people would retrieve their
When asked if it was a rule to leave baggage in an
evacuation, 34% didn’t know, 34% knew that they
should leave bags and 32% didn’t know but assumed
that leaving bags was sensible. Cabin Safety Update will
report on the progress of this study as it develops.