Security camera footage from Samara Kurumoch Airport in Samara Oblast, in southern Russia, shows astonished flight check-in workers watching on as he runs after his case.
But as he reaches for his bag, the smartly dressed passenger slips and falls onto the luggage track.
And if a quick-thinking Aeroflot worker had not hit the emergency stop button, he would have been swept away into a network of conveyor belts.
He would have joined thousands of items of luggage being fast-tracked to loading bays for the airport’s 50 flights a day.
The footage shows the smartly dressed passenger in a black coat and hat trying to grab a file of papers which he has apparently snatched from the bag.
Open-mouthed passengers waiting to check in looked on baffled as he scrambled to get back on his feet.
Just before he was about to disappear into the conveyor belt network, one check-in worker can be seen apparently hitting the emergency stop button as her colleague claps her hands to her mouth in shock.
After successfully obtaining the paperwork, the unnamed man was able to catch his flight, according to local media.