Climb1 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 128 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6787 times:
Last month myself and the missus popped over to DUB for the day. We flew with Ryanair and was on a 732 out and 738 in. Both flights were pretty full. However on the return leg, we were the first few people on and as we got on the back the stewardess said that we couldnt sit on the back row. Fair enough I thought, so I sat 5th row from the rear. Eventually more and more people got on and it got busy. Then the steward guy tells the people sittin behind us that they are not allowed to sit in the last FOUR rows but didnt fully explain why at the time. Of course these people had fully settled into their seats and now they were playin musical chairs before pushback.
Luckily we just missed out being moved around by ONE row. So there I was enjoying my window seat but some of the other pax were less than impressed about bein told one thing than the other.
Soo anyway, my question is, why? Why was it that on a pretty full plane there was to be no pax sittin on the last four rows during take off.
Which reminds me, they did allow a few people to sit at the rear once in the cruise.
Thanks in advance.
In my eyes the Boeing 747 will ALWAYS be the queen of the skies!
Leskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 71 Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6764 times:
Don't really know - but could it have been a balance-question?
I remember taking a flight from Windhoek Eros Airport to Johannesburg on a CRJ, and before takeoff we were told that no-one was permitted to sit in the first 4, 5 or 6 (not sure any more - it's been a few years since) rows until we reached our cruising altitude: at that time, we were given the explanation that it had to do with a combination of the short runway, the hot weather and the high altitude, and that the weight distribution would not allow the plane to get off the ground in time if people were seated further in front.
With the wings on the B737 being far more forward than on the CRJ, perhaps it was something similar...
If it's open seating and boarding thru the rear door the crew will want some folks seated up front first to keep the aircraft from sitting on it's tail. Normally only an issue on cargo aircraft, but probably something to be careful of when loading pax from the rear door.
Keep in mind people will normally grab the first seat they see wether getting on a plane or a bus.....
Spantax From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 316 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6643 times:
Hi, I have flown with Ryanair a lot of times and what I have often noticed is that they don't allow to use the 4-5 FIRST rows. I have always thought it was in order to avoid checking/cleaning (because, as you must know, Ryanair doesn't hire people to clean their aircraft but this job is done by the flight attendants themselves). But perhaps I am wrong . Curious to read the "good" answer. A Ryanair insider listening maybe? Cheers
SATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6622 times:
Quoting Spantax (Reply 3): Hi, I have flown with Ryanair a lot of times and what I have often noticed is that they don't allow to use the 4-5 FIRST rows. I have always thought it was in order to avoid checking/cleaning (because, as you must know, Ryanair doesn't hire people to clean their aircraft but this job is done by the flight attendants themselves). But perhaps I am wrong . Curious to read the "good" answer. A Ryanair insider listening maybe? Cheers
When taking a busload of pax out to the aircraft I always told the pax as they came aboard to go to the rear to find a seat. The bus loaded faster that way.
Maybe the crews are applying a similar concept but don't bother after the first few rows?
Jmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1296 posts, RR: 7 Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6539 times:
Were those four rows empty the whole flight? If so it was probably a weight/balance issue.
All aircraft have a loadsheet, which ensures the aircraft is loaded correctly and not out of balance. Sometimes, if you've got a half empty load, getting an aircraft in balance can be a little tricky and you soemtimes have to play balancing games with baggage and pax to get it in trim. I've enever known it with 738, though have never worked with one.
Dash 8 Q400s can be subject to this alot! The main (and only really) baggage hold is in the back. So if you've got a pretty empty flight, youll need majority of pax towards the front of the aircraft to make sure its not tail heavy (as all bags and cargo are in the back). Then again, on a very full flight, the aircraft can be pretty nose heavy, so youll block rows one and two for example. In reality, it probably doesnt mean the difference between the aircraft taking off or not, it just so the calculations on the load sheet are correct. If the loadsheet says nose heavy or tail heavy then plane dosnt go - simple as! Often had to play musical chairs with passengers on the good old Dash!
Perhaps soemone who does load control with 737s may be able to shed some more light. IIRC, a Pegasus Airlines 738 had a tail strike on take off due to some dodgy loading and weights...?
RedDragon From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 1135 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6487 times:
Wasn't it a First Choice A321 that suffered a tail strike due to dodgy loading and weights, taking off from one of the Greek islands? (I'm being too lazy to fight the search engine, sorry.)
I wouldn't have thought that a fairly full 738 would have problems with weight and balance... (do FR take belly cargo? I can't remember.) The rear-door loading theory sounds plausible though, even if possibly slightly over-protective?
Mhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 27 Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6277 times:
I've had this on FR, BLK-STN on an ex-Buzz 734 (BZZF). To indicate that no-one should sit in either the front or rear 4 rows, the tray tables were lowered to 'block' the rows off, and announcements were made as people boarded.
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
Spantax From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 316 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6049 times:
Hi, I have just received this message from a Ryanair insider. Very interesting, although the "something to do with Fuel Economy" remains quite intriguing for me.
"I am involved in the dispatch or FR Aircraft, on the 737-800s if there
are less than a specific number of punters on board than the first 4
and last 4 rows are blocked off. I believe it is in the region of 165
There are blockers on the front row of seats but the f/a should
indicate to passengers when boarding that they cannot use the first/last 4
As assumed this is linked to weight balance and also something to do
with Fuel Economy.
Additionally all baggage is loaded into Cargo Hold 2 first (main front
cargo hold). Which I believe is different to how most other operators
work, who load through the rear cargo hold first. Again this is for the
Sorry, I'm not a full a.net member otherwise I would have posted this
up myself. Please feel free to quote any of the above in a message."
SNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 24 Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5999 times:
I flew SFO-SEA on an AS B739 last December. It was mostly empty and the crew made an announcement that we could change seats to find an empty row if we wished, provided that we didn't seat on the last N rows (I can't remember how many). They explicitly said that the restriction was due to a weight-balance issue, given that the plane was mostly empty and didn't have a lot of cargo either. So, I'd assume FR does something similar.
Quoting RedDragon (Reply 8): Don't be silly, two lengths of string would cost too much!
Thanks for that!
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9156 posts, RR: 52 Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5951 times:
Moving the center of gravity towards the wing does increase the fuel efficiency of the airplane. The benefits are extremely small and only happen during climb when the nose is pitched up. The airplane probably would have been perfectly safe with all seats filled, but shifting the center of gravity towards the wing helps, which is what they did. Most flight attendants/customer service agents would have trouble explaining the physics behind it, so that is probably why you didn't get a good response.
The fuel efficiency comes from the plane requiring less input from the elevators during climb. This is occurs because the elevators produce a smaller moment arm when climbing to keep the nose up attitude if all the weight of the passengers/baggage is centered on the wing. If the weight is all concentrated in the center, then less force is required during the climb from the elevators and horizontal stabilizer. The elevators are in an up position during climb, and are causing a force down on the tail, which essentially requires more lift from the main wing, and thus more thrust and fuel. The more elevator input, the less efficient the plane is on climb. So by keeping those passengers out of back/front of the plane, Ryanair probably decreased the force on the wing by a couple hundred pounds, which results in less fuel burn.
Ryanair is one of the few airlines that actually takes this into effect on many flights. I have seen AS do it as well to a lesser degree, especially on their 734s as well as TAME of Ecuador. AS will limit the number of people in first class on their flights (I have seen this happen on a SEA-SNA flight in Nov 2003). The small efficiency gain is obviously worth it for Ryanair since they don not care about offering high comfort and good service, but rather about cutting costs. Most airlines though care more about passenger comfort and do not force people the sit in middle seats when there are aisle and window seats available.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12677 posts, RR: 13 Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5824 times:
Considering the high prices of fuel, especially in Europe where FR does business, their rock bottom fares and general hyper-cheap policies, even saving a relatively few lbs/ltrs/kgs of fuel (maybe 20 ltrs. on climb?) on each possible flight may mean over the fleet 100,000 + Euros a year. Every little bit helps to keep you making a profit.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9156 posts, RR: 52 Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5762 times:
Quoting RedDragon (Reply 13): it's a forward/centre/rear cabin issue, not an aisle-middle-window thing
Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I was just saying that Ryanair doesn't mind cramming people in sections and putting someone in every seat around the wing and forcing people into middle seats and other bad seats that are uncomfortable rather then allowing them to sit in more desirable seats (window and aisle seats that may be left in the front or back).
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
PSAjet17 From United States of America, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 292 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5662 times:
I find it hard to believe that the reason noone could sit in the last four rows was due to weight and balance. What happens when two or three people move aft to use the lavatory?
Usually, the reason rows are blocked is due to the number of flight attendants on the flight. If I am not mistaken, one flight attendant is required for every 50 usuable seats on the aircraft. If the plane holds 160+, blocking the last four rows would take the count to 150 or less and only require three attendants not the four with full seating.
RedDragon From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 1135 posts, RR: 7 Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5633 times:
Quoting PSAjet17 (Reply 17): Usually, the reason rows are blocked is due to the number of flight attendants on the flight. If I am not mistaken, one flight attendant is required for every 50 usuable seats on the aircraft. If the plane holds 160+, blocking the last four rows would take the count to 150 or less and only require three attendants not the four with full seating.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't see that this would let an airline get round flight attendant minima. If there are 189 passenger seats physically installed on the aircraft, then they need four flight attendants whether they like it or not - surely putting the tray tables down (or using string ) doesn't negate this?
Stirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 26 Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5628 times:
Quoting PSAjet17 (Reply 17): I find it hard to believe that the reason noone could sit in the last four rows was due to weight and balance. What happens when two or three people move aft to use the lavatory?
From what I can tell, the benefits of such practice are on take-off, when folks are not allowed to leave their seats.
Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12): The fuel efficiency comes from the plane requiring less input from the elevators during climb
Climb1 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 128 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5588 times:
Just to clarify, before pushback people were told to move from the last four rows. However once in the cruise, a woman and two small kids were allowed to sit in the row behind us (fourth from back) for the rest of the flight. Then two adults sat in the opposite side to the woman and kids, also fourth row from the back. There was still the last three rows vacant throughout, but i dont know whether it was meant to be that way or no one wanted to ask if they could sit there once in the cruise.
In my eyes the Boeing 747 will ALWAYS be the queen of the skies!
PipoA380 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1592 posts, RR: 51 Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5311 times:
Quoting Climb1 (Reply 20): Then two adults sat in the opposite side to the woman and kids, also fourth row from the back. There was still the last three rows vacant throughout, but i dont know whether it was meant to be that way or no one wanted to ask if they could sit there once in the cruise.
I guess it's a question of cleaning up the aircraft. 3 Rows less to clean is about 10% less, so I just guess that it's instruction to save time. The woman and kids were probably put there because they had boarded late and were not sitting together, and the two other certainly just did the same as they saw that woman do that!
Riding an airplane is just not as nice as it used to be.... just a hell cheaper!
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
Cirrostratus From Italy, joined May 2005, 27 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5230 times:
I had the same experience. Husband and I sat in the last row and were promptly moved. I asked why, not to be a snooty passenger, but because I was genuinely interested. The f/a said it was a weight and balance issue for take off and that after we became airborne we could then return to the rear seats if we so desired.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11500 posts, RR: 62 Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4952 times:
Last time I flew Ryanair this happened and the stewardess helpfully told me it was because the aircraft (B732) was getting very old and could no longer lift the full weight. Do they have a policy about scaring their customers so they sweat more before getting on the aircraft and save fuel
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
25 Miami1: Blocking seats is purely to do with weight and balance and loadsheet. It has NOTHING to do with the number of FAs or to lessen the cleaning required!
26 Cschleic: Seems Alaska does take this into account. I was once on a PDX-SJC flight that was fairly empty. They didn't restrict passengers to a certain section,
27 Go3Team: This has also happened to me on an FR flight. As I got on the plane (one of the last in line) I was amazed to see the first four rows empty. I prepare
28 IrishMD11: Centre of gravity is damned important indeed. I remember flying on Danair DA1277(G-AXCP) from LGW to GVA on the 11.02.77. Was sitting forwards of the
29 N312RC: I was once on a Northwest DC9-30 departing from Jacksonville, FL and they had to move people forward.. I was in seat 2A up in First and they unexpecte
30 EI321: I flew on ryanair 738 Dublin to Reus (spain) a month ago. The flight from DUB Was full but on the return flight they blocked the rear 7 rows with the
31 RedDragon: What aircraft was this, the One-Eleven maybe? Rich
32 IrishMD11: Oops, I did forget that detail. Yes, she was on of those good old BAC 1-11's. Cheers! Gerry
33 PADSpot: If I was an innocent, uninformed passenger, this statement would have caused me to leave the airplane instantaneously. Stricken with fear. That sound
34 RedDragon: Not to mention a more accurate explanation!