Why Are Slip and Fall Injuries So Common at Airports?

According to experienced airport injury lawyer Doug Landau, slip and fall cases are common at airports because of the many unique places to walk through, with constantly changing distractions and dangers.
Your attention is constantly pulled away from the ground in front of you.
Digital monitors can be very distracting at a busy airport. The monitors tell passengers where to go, details about their flight, and any last-minute boarding changes. The monitor can divert the attention of passengers and cause them to be unaware of their surroundings.

One main distraction is the overhead monitor displays. Maps of the airport,  Departures and Arrivals lists,  and advertisements from vendors on and off site all comtribute to airport users walking looking up nearly all the time. The displays show you where you need to go, whether your flight has been delayed, and other information. Pedestrians in airports are rarely looking at the ground when they are trying to navigate these alien environments and keep up with changing gates, departure times, baggage carousels and other announcements.  Other distractions can include the intercom announcements, waring signals of vehicles transporting handicapped passengers, and strange sounds and foreign languages throughout the terminal.

When traveling abroad, trying to decipher signs in a foreign language contribute to the incidence of slips, trips and falls, as the pedestrian’s attention is constantly being drawn away from the walking surface.

Passengers are often pulling heavy tote bags or carrying luggage, and they may not be familiar with the languages on the walls and electronic monitors. In addition, there are time pressures on passengers to make the flight, report for check-in, and get something to eat.


Even more dangerous is when passengers must go outside and board the aircraft from the Air Operations Area (AOA). A fall can happen from a de-icer spray that accumulates on the ground. Spilled jet fuel can be a slippery danger to people walking on the runways to get on their small commuter flight jets.

Portable staircases can blow over in high winds,; be slippery from de-icer or oil; and if not properly secured, these movable stairs can shift and cause injury.

When passengers have to deposit their luggage on the wagons to be put in the plane, and then go up the staircase, there have been falls, fractures, and even several traumatic brain injury cases that Doug Landau has been a part of over his many years of helping injured travelers.  High winds have been known to knock over the temporary ladders and fixed staircases. In one of our cases, an airport employee was permanently injured because of a blown-over stairwell.

Airlines and airport authorities have known about the dangers in their very unique environments for a long time. It is critically important to be aware of your surroundings and maintain your senses to be safe at the airport and in the AOA.

The Abrams Landau Team has been successful in several cases where the videotapes secured shortly after the trip, slip or fall showed the incident in question AND the defect that caused the harm. Recently, the ABRAMS LANDAU team won a brain injury slip and fall case where a New England business executive was caused to slip and fall due to water leaking out of a terminal retail kiosk. He hit his head and his laptop was broken by the fall. In another case, there was a slip and fall after maintenance had mopped, but failed to place warning signs. And in a third case, a traveler was caused to fall from a handicapped passenger cart.

If you or someone you know has been injured at an airport, especially after a fall caused by an unsafe condition, and there are questions as to what laws apply, please contact us at (703) 796–9055 or email frontdesk@landaulawshop.com