Mfamguy79 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 17 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2943 times:
I was on a UA Express CRJ flight from LAX to SJC yesterday and the flight was quite empty. Maybe at the most 15 passengers. Before we began boarding the customer service agent made an announcement that she had to change all our seating because she stated that it was federal regulation to seat passengers after row 6 of the aircraft when it is empty. I had never heard of such a thing and wondered if this was true or was this a cover for something else? Anyone ever head of this? Just curious
Ssides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2918 times:
I've never seen it on an RJ, but several times on turboprops (SF3s and EMBs). Many times, when these flights go out half-empty, they need to balance the weight distribution out. Nothing too terribly unusual, but as I said, I would think jet aircraft would have enough power to avoid the problem.
Bridogger6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 718 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2871 times:
As gate agents, we've been asked to balance out the weight on our 733's before. Working a flight from PHX-OAK there were only 20 people on the plane and except for the first class passengers, weight and balance had called us to move all the people to row 15 or higher. Maybe it had something to do with how they placed the cargo.
Okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2861 times:
I have never heard of such.
I have many times in the past seen passengers moved due to C/G issues. Generally the smaller the aircraft the more likely the move.
The ATR's seem to be especially susceptible to C/G issues with light loads because of the baggage hold is ahead of the wing.
I have not been on very many lightly loaded aircraft in the last couple of years though, airlines seem to be matching up aircraft size with passenger loads pretty well. The days of having a row of seats to yourself have long gone.
DouglasDC8 From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2829 times:
It's not a matter of having enough power, it's about keeping the aircraft's center of gravity (CG) within approved limits. Most newer aircraft don't have any CG challanges when they are empty. I do recall that the 727-222's I used to load plan were tail heavy when empty. The solution was to block passenger seating in the rear of the cabin, or if the aircraft had no passengers to move around, load some ballast fuel in the center fuel tank.
As for the agent's statement that "it's a federal regulation...", that shows that that agent didn't understand what the issue is. The airline may have a policy in effect to keep people behind row 6 when there are light loads. This would prevent departure delays caused by re-seating passengers after boarding. And it is a federal regulation that aircraft be operated within their approved CG envelope. So I guess the agent put the whole thing together in her mind that it was a federal regulation to have people seated in a particular manner.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2722 times:
This happens from time to time, I have even seen it happen on a 767 on one occasion - once flew from Europe to the New York area on a 767 with only about 50 pax on board, 10 pax sat in J class and the Y class pax were not permitted to use the first 10 rows of the coach section until the airplane was at its initial cruising altitude.
Lsgg From Switzerland, joined Mar 2005, 577 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2670 times:
I remember that on a flight between LGW and GVA in a A319 Easyjet, the F/A told us to sit in the back of the a/c. It was full at 75%
I thought it was something with the weight, the a/c could take off easier...
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13549 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2581 times:
On a AA flight on an ATR-42 from SJU to Br.Virgin Is., I was told to stay in my assigned seat until reached crusing altitude, due to balance reasons. I then moved to a window seat on the starbord side. There have been a number of threads on this issue, including as to some Ryanair flights (737's).
Yes, on a CRJ from MSY to MCO. The plane had less than a dozen passengers and all had been assigned to the first few rows. The FA asked us to spread around the aircraft. It was to do with the centre of gravity, as already suggested. It's more fuel efficient to have the plane relatively level (or rather aerodynamic) rather than nose downwards had everybody sat at the front (more drag).
Okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2486 times:
Quoting DouglasDC8 (Reply 4): So I guess the agent put the whole thing together in her mind that it was a federal regulation to have people seated in a particular manner.
I suspect that it is more along the lines it is easier to say than the real reason of which most passengers would not understand C/G issues anyway.
I have heard many "because of federal regulations on aircraft" that simply do not exist. I wish I had made a list of them over the years. Since most do not inconvenience much, its just easier to follow along.
My favorite was "federal regulations prevent us from having coffee on afternoon flights" The correct answer would be "since this a relatively short afternoon flight we did not expect anyone to order coffee could I interest you in a juice or a soft drink" but then again that is NW.
Iflewrepublic From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 537 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2256 times:
"Due to the relatively short nature of today's flight, we will not be offering a beverage service..." I have never heard any of our crew members (not saying that it hasn't happened) say "Due to Federal Regulations..." I would S--- a brick if they pulled that one. I always enjoyed seeing the Memphis girls claw their way up the aisle of a DC-9 on take off so they could get their beverage service in.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
Baw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2034 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2221 times:
Mostly weight and balance issue. Although...on some aircraft on some airlines, passengers are restricted access beyond a certain point, not into the galley area behind the cockpit. I don't believe there is a lav in the front of the RJ, so the only reason on empty flights would have to be weight and balance. Otherwise, the rule would apply on all flights for security purposes.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998