I was on an American Airlines Boeing 767 years ago, where there was an engine loss over the Atlantic. The crew was everywhere helping, talking, comforting, holding passenger hands when needed. They were amazing, putting their training into action.  In the Times article about Asiana this morning, this crew/pilot assistance is missing according to passengers interviewed.

A frequent flyer on the Asiana route, a Mr. Levy, describes how he opened the emergency door, helped 30-40 passengers leave the plane and never saw or heard a crew member. Other passengers in other sections of the plane also talk about leaving the plane with their luggage! And no one mentions help from the crew. How can this be?

If I were Asiana Airlines, or (Costa Cruise Lines last year), I would be mortified to hear that the crew did not help. At the very least, they should have forbidden people from carrying out luggage which takes time, and  worked with others in less mobile situations. We now wait to see what the formal investigation tells us. I hope the story I read is in error. Cabin crew are to be respected not just for their training but for their commitment to safety.