Like pilots, flight attendants are highly-trained professionals; remember that next time you’re tempted to treat one like a waiter or bellhop (though you shouldn’t treat waiters or bellhops that way, either).
To see just how important they are, check out this high-res video of China Airlines Flight 120, the Boeing 737 that caught fire when a bolt punctured the fuel tank after the plane taxied to the gate at Naha Airport in Okinawa last August. The flight attendants had about a minute to evacuate 165 passengers and crew off the plane before the heat became so intense that it started warping the airframe (long before the firefighters arrived):
It’s terrifying how fast the fire can intensify and spread. It’s fortunate that they were already on the ground, and that the plane had already burned off some (most?) of its fuel during the flight.
Cheers to the flight attendants who got everyone out alive.
Jeers to the moron passengers who you can see carrying coats, carry-on bags, etc. with them on their way out — each item could have cost a fellow passenger’s life.
Some recognition too for the guys with the fire extinguishers. Rather futile given the size of the fire, but also selfless given the way airplane fires tent to go.