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Have You Ever Sat On A Lopsided Seat Cushion?  
User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 325 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4658 times:

This is personal pet peeve of many folks I know and when I saw this photo below, it made me wonder how many of you get a bit peeved when you board a flight and arrive at your seat only to find that it has a sagging or lopsided seat bottom cushion. Take a look at the 2nd seat from the right in this photo:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Qantas/Boeing-747-438/1641022/L/

This has happened to me a number of times on various carriers in my travels around the world through the years. Sometimes there is another seat available and the gate agents or onboard crew is very accomodating in either reseating me, or in a couple of cases, upgrading me from Coach to Business or from Business to First. But on those trips where it was a full flight, getting one of these lopsided seats can REALLY do a number on your back on a flight or more than a couple of hours.

Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle the situation when this arises? Personally and from a paying passenger's perspective, I would consider this to be a broken seat and the airline should block this seat to prevent occupancy until it is fixed.

[Edited 2010-01-18 07:57:15]

[Edited 2010-01-18 07:57:34]

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCharliecossie From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 479 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4564 times:

That photo was taken with an ultra wide angle lens and contains much "distortion".

User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5911 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4529 times:
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I have flown on many SEA-STL flights with lopsided seat cushions on ex-TWA aircraft, both 757's and Maddogs...mainly in Coach.

User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4516 times:



Quoting Charliecossie (Reply 1):
That photo was taken with an ultra wide angle lens and contains much "distortion".

Quite true.

However, I have occasionally had seats where the bottom cushion had shifted a bit from it's intended position, presumably when the previous passenger disembarked, but a well-placed whack or tug administered to the appropriate edge of the seat cushion usually put it back in proper alignment with the seat frame. This seems to be a not-uncommon occurrence on aircraft in which the bottom seat cushion may be used as a flotation device.

More annoying to me are seatbacks that seem disinclined to lock in the full upright position and keep creeping into a reclining position throughout the flight. AA's MD-80 Y-Class seats seem especially prone to this phenomenon, but it might simply be that they're the ones upon which I have the most flying experience and other seats suffer the same problem.



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User currently offlineJustlump From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4435 times:
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This is a common occurance on RJ's and prop aircraft. Due to the heightened security of the past 10 years, airlines are performing more rigorous security inspections of their aircraft. These inspections require that the seat cushion be removed and inspected for tampering. Due to security rules I cannot stipulate how often these inspections must take place, but it can be several times in a day. Also, seat cushions are often removed when the aircraft is cleaned during a RON or scheduled maintenance.
Seat cushions are held in place by thin strips of velcro. Over time the velcro wears down causing the seat cushion to shift or lean. I've had cushions that were literally just sitting loosely on the frame...probably not good in an emergency!


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8453 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4402 times:
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Not so much the seat bottom but the back on SA's 744s in the latter days. I think technical knew their days were numbered so the seats were just left skew. All of them.


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User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4339 times:



Quoting TSS (Reply 3):
More annoying to me are seatbacks that seem disinclined to lock in the full upright position and keep creeping into a reclining position throughout the flight

I've had this happen on AA 777s and a few other planes, too--might it be a safety hazard since it's not locking?



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User currently offlineSlinky09 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 840 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4324 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 6):
I've had this happen on AA 777s and a few other planes, too--might it be a safety hazard since it's not locking?

Ditto AA, must be their maintenance but only ever happened to me on AA ATRs and MD80s.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5831 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4274 times:



Quoting TSS (Reply 3):
More annoying to me are seatbacks that seem disinclined to lock in the full upright position and keep creeping into a reclining position throughout the flight. AA's MD-80 Y-Class seats seem especially prone to this phenomenon, but it might simply be that they're the ones upon which I have the most flying experience and other seats suffer the same problem.

The seat recline is controlled by the Hydrolok (which I suspect is a particular brand name, due to the odd spelling, but the device operates the same regardless of seat manufacturer). These are notoriously life-limited. Also, if you're a plus-sized passenger seated in coach, we technicians get a lot of write ups for seats that wouldn't stay upright, only to find that once the extra-wide hips of the passenger were removed from the vicinity of the recline button, the seat operates 'as-designed'.

Quoting Soxfan (Reply 6):
might it be a safety hazard since it's not locking?

Not really- there's no physical difference between upright and full-flat. Many seats, though not all, have a breakover mechanism anyway, and the seat back will move forward ever when it was originally in the full-upright position.

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 2):
I have flown on many SEA-STL flights with lopsided seat cushions on ex-TWA aircraft

I agree- TWA was the worst for flat cushions! The only aircraft they flew that had good cushions were the 717s.

My worst experience was a Northwest 747-400, N665US, just last year. The bottom cushion was tolerable, but the back cushion was so worn it was "U"-shaped. My head found no padding to rest on, and went straight to the aluminum. NOT a pleasant DTW-AMS flight at all, I can assure you.


User currently offlineFiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

Not sure if this was deliberate, but I had a CX Herringbone J seat that seemed to tilt to toward the front of the aircraft. Annoying in the upright position, but fine when flat (or at least I did not detect it)

User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 325 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 4163 times:



Quoting TSS (Reply 3):
More annoying to me are seatbacks that seem disinclined to lock in the full upright position and keep creeping into a reclining position throughout the flight. AA's MD-80 Y-Class seats seem especially prone to this phenomenon, but it might simply be that they're the ones upon which I have the most flying experience and other seats suffer the same problem.

You know, I also noticed this happening more often on AA than on any other airline, but dismissed it as my imagination. Good to know I'm not the only one who notices this kind of thing.

This is normally nothing more than an inconvenience, but when you get a flight attendant who is having a bad day or is on a power trip, they often like to harrass you even after you clearly tell them that the reason that the seatback is reclined is not due to a disregard for the safety rules, but instead due to a broken seat recline mechanism.


User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4040 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 8):
Also, if you're a plus-sized passenger seated in coach, we technicians get a lot of write ups for seats that wouldn't stay upright, only to find that once the extra-wide hips of the passenger were removed from the vicinity of the recline button, the seat operates 'as-designed'.

Well, at 6'1 and 235 lbs I'm no-one's idea of a "petite flower", but where the recline button usually catches me is about 3 inches above my knee.
The situation you describe did happen to me once on my first AA flight because in coach seats I have to sit with my legs somewhat splayed to be comfortable and to reach my bag underneath the seat in front of me, but once I realized what was going on I had little problem avoiding the recline button. I do, however, think the button is badly placed in general and that a small flush-mounted lever (like a glovebox latch in a car) concealed on the end of the armrest would be a more passenger-friendly way to release the seatback lock.

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 10):
This is normally nothing more than an inconvenience, but when you get a flight attendant who is having a bad day or is on a power trip, they often like to harrass you even after you clearly tell them that the reason that the seatback is reclined is not due to a disregard for the safety rules, but instead due to a broken seat recline mechanism.

That happened to me as well, but once I showed the F/A that the seat wouldn't lock properly and that no part of my body was contacting the release button, she was most helpful. She had me stand up, then she slammed the seatback into it's upright position a few times much harder than I ever would have and on the last slam the latch finally engaged.



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