Since the modern era of flight, passengers have been told to not reach for their belongings while exiting the plane in case of an emergency. It seems like the message hasn't quite gotten, through. Images from a recent Aeroflot crash outside Moscow show survivors fleeing the inflamed plane with luggage in hand.

Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, whose latest book is "The Feud: Vladimir Nabakov, Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship," told Boston Public Radio Tuesday to not chastise the survivors for grabbing their luggage. It's just an automatic psychological response in that situation, Beam said.

"They did the first thing they knew how to do," he said.

Beam joined Boston Public Radio to talk about this and more.