SolarWind
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Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:53 am

USA TODAY...June 15...WN was "censured" (what ever that means) by the FAA for continuing to allow Passengers who are not allowed to ...occupy Exit Row Seats...The FAA says WN often permits "physically Impaired, Disabled people, young children,and Adults who Don't speak English" to occupy Exit row seats ..Flight attendants say that because of WNs open seating policy...all the pre-boarders...which are usually these people..board first and take all the Exit Seats ..for more room etc. and often will not move if asked to by a Flight Att... Huh?
 
freshlove1
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:09 am

Well apparently it looks as if some of WN's Cabin Crew don't know the rules. If there is a problem with the seating arrangement then all they should do is ask them to move to another seat due to the regulations. I have seen this on many flights (DL, US, AA) where the person is in an emergency exit seat and is not capable of operating it in the event of an emergency. All the F/A does is explain the rules and ask them to relocate or switch with someone. If they will not move then the flight dosen't go if there is a safety concern, but 99% of the time the problem is resolved quickly and the seats are switched and the flight leaves.
 
goboeing
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:21 am

On the Southwest flights I've been on, they do make an announcement about this policy and all the boarding doors at the top of the jetway at MHT have a sign stating it as well. So the agents, from what I've seen, are doing their job. The flight attendants seem to be the ones not supervising who's sitting there.

Nick
 
saxman66
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:47 am

Whenever I fly WN, they always come by and ask those who are sitting in the exit row, if they are capable. But I guess, someone messed up.

Chris
Ride Amtrak!
 
caetravlr
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:11 am

It's funny, but the ones who are not supposed to be sitting in the exit rows, are the very same ones that would probably not understand, or pay attention to the rules when given at the gate.

You are right, it seems that the F/As are not enforcing these rules as they should be. I think the F/As should be standing in that row until a pax comes to sit there. At that time, she should ask the questions necessary to determine eligibility for that row. If that person meets the requirements, let them sit there. If not, keep them moving. Simple as that?
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:54 am

I think the F/As should be standing in that row until a pax comes to sit there.

And on the vast majority of my Southwest flights, the FA's have been at or near the exit row and as someone took a seat there, they asked them if they met the qualifications. I've never seen anyone who was underage or physically unable to perform the functions that are required sitting in those seats.

If a person is asked to move and refuses, especially if it's a preboard passenger, then perhaps they need to call the captain back and have him tell them that they will have to move to another seat or deplane. Last I heard, failure to obey a flight crew member was a good enough reason to be deplaned.
 
richierich
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:15 am

Hey, we all make mistakes. I have to think that most cabin crews, Southwest included, know the rules and follow them. Clearly these are mistakes and highly visible ones at that.
I'd be curious to know the frequency that other airlines get "caught" doing this. I'm assuming WN's boarding policy comes back to bite them in the ass here.
None shall pass!!!!
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:21 am

Every single time I've flown WN and managed to score an exit row seat, I've been asked by a f/a whether I am capable of and willing to operate the exits.

Here's the article link:
USA Today (15 June 2004)
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-06-14-southwest_x.htm

After reading the article, I tend to agree with the decision based on one incident: a person who didn't have use of one arm. You need two hands to properly remove and discard the emergency exit door.


redngold
Up, up and away!
 
Vorticity
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:44 am

I have had major surgury to reconstruct my left shoulder. It works pretty fine for most things, but it hurts to move very heavy objects. I can't move furnature or things like that too well. Am I able bodied enough to operate an emergancy exit in your opinions? Out of curiosity, I've never been seated in an exit row.
Thermodynamics and english units don't mix...
 
RareBear
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:29 am

Most exit doors weigh 45-60 lbs, and someone with the inability to fully move their arms and shoulders should not be sitting in the exit rows.
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:00 am

Vorticity:

The answer is that if you *feel* you can't move it, you shouldn't assume you can in a pinch.

Although I am "out of shape" I regularly lift, carry, and shove objects up to 50 lbs. I am confident that I could operate an emergency exit. However, if on the day of a flight I was ill, had a flareup of carpal tendinitis, or other temporary impairment, I wouldn't take an exit row seat on WN.


redngold
Up, up and away!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:07 am

I flew DAL-HOU, HOU-LAS, LAS-LBB, and LBB-DAL on vacation with the kids last week, and on each flight, there was an F/A at mid-cabin making sure only the proper folks were sitting in the emergency exit rows.

Not disputing what USAToday wrote, just observing that with 2,800 flights per day (and imagine that on a weekly/monthly basis), folks are hearing about the rare exceptions versus "the rule", and my trips last week were by no means the only time I've ever seen an F/A at mid-cabin...  Big grin

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:16 am

Come to think of it, I think it was the last time I was on WN that I got an exit row seat and got curious enough about the emergency door that I lifted up on one of the grip areas. It was a panel held on by velcro and it went RIIIP and fell off. Embarrassment I grabbed it and put it back in place before anyone noticed.
Up, up and away!
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:05 am

I've only seen this once on Southwest and they corrected it before pushback.

Back in the summer of 2001 I was flying AUS-DAL. This was back when going through security was a breeze. About 30 minutes before departure I went out in front of the terminal to have one last cigarette. This car drives up, and a blind man with a walking stick and dark glasses is helped out of the car and into the terminal.

I finish my cigarette and go back inside and clear security and they're just starting to board my flight. We get on and about 5 minutes to pushback this same blind gentleman is helped into our flight. A flight attendent seated him on the aisle in the mid cabin lounge where the overwing emergency exits are located. I remember her saying "We need you to just take a seat. We've got to go." I really don't think this particular flight attendant knew any better or maybe she just wasn't thinking clrearly that day.

Anyway another flight attendant came over and said no, he'd have to move and they moved him accross the aisle from me one row up and told him where they were putting his walking stick.

People make mistakes. I have every confidence Southwest willl earn from this mistake and take the proper steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.

LoneStarMike

 
freshlove1
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:21 am

"We need you to just take a seat. We've got to go."

I guess an on time departure is more important then a safe flight. This is very unacceptable and leads me to wonder what other rules they are failing to follow.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:32 am

The FAA says WN often permits "physically Impaired, Disabled people, young children,and Adults who Don't speak English"

What the hell does the fact that an adult who doesnt speak English have to do with anything? They put pictures on the safety card for a reason...

Im pretty sure that if the shit hit the fan (quite literally), then anyone would know to open a door and get the fuck out.

Thats my rant of the day

Latah
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
 
ckfred
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:07 pm

AirPortugal310-

You want people who speak English, so that they can understand instructions from the F/A.

This reminds me of the time I flew UA from ATL to ORD during the Olympics. Apparently, some gentlemen who only spoke Mandarin got exit row seats. But the gate agents didn't seem too concerned.

It's a good thing that nothing happened. After landing at ORD, we went to the penalty box while waiting for a gate to open. The men in the exit row thought we were at the gate and got up to start pulling bags out of the overhead.

You should have seen the F/As run up the aisle.
 
archie
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:18 pm

Hi SolarWind,

-USA TODAY...June 15...WN was "censured" (what ever that means) -

Censured means to be critizised for doing something wrong.

Regards,

Archie
 
RiddlePilot215
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:43 pm


The FAA says WN often permits "physically Impaired, Disabled people, young children,and Adults who Don't speak English"

What the hell does the fact that an adult who doesnt speak English have to do with anything? They put pictures on the safety card for a reason...

Im pretty sure that if the shit hit the fan (quite literally), then anyone would know to open a door and get the fuck out.

Thats my rant of the day

Latah


That is quite possibly the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.....Being able to speak English in a manner that people can understand you is imperative in the event of an emergency. By sitting in an exit row, in the event of an emergency, you assume all responsibilities for seeing the safe and efficient evacuation of your window, which may involve a great deal of speaking. There is no time to figure out what somebody else is saying in another language in dire times.

Let's think before we post next time mmmmkay?
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
 
JMChladek
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RE: Southwest Censured By FAA!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:14 pm

Yes, classic example would be if one wing was on fire due to an engine explosion on take off or FOD penetrating the wing tank (shades of the British Airtours 737 fire from the early 80s). In a situation like that, the exit rows on one side would not be used to keep the occupants safe from fire. At a time like that, a flight crew on a PA and/or the F/A would need to make sure that this is communicated properly to the people sitting in the exit rows so that only the proper doors are opened and the compromised ones are not. And if they are capable of speaking and understanding the same language as the FA, then it helps. There is more to it then just popping the door and getting out.