Harshil9
Topic Author
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 am

Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:02 pm

Hi,

I flew a few low cost carriers in Asia this past month and in most occasions I was seated somewhere near the emergency exit row (including having that row on 2 occasions)

The instances where I was not in the row I realised they were not filled. Also when I was sat in the exit row the other side was free.

I remember last year I flew somewhere in Europe and the exit rows were empty. On this occasion they asked people nearby to move to these rows.

What is the rule regarding this? Should airlines fill those rows? They explain to you instructions for opening the doors when you sit there, who is responsible during an emergency to open the door if there is no one sitting by the doors.
 
NozPerry
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:12 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:56 pm

At Small Planet (S5) it wasn’t a requirement to have someone seated at the overwing exits, which I always thought was weird. But then again they allowed e-cigarette use on flights so I can’t complain
I love the feel of a Go Around in the morning
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2115
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:45 pm

In the U.S., there's no requirement for an exit row to be occupied. The only exit row rules are if a pax is seated in an exit row.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/121.585

Outside the U.S., YMMV.
 
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PatrickZ80
Posts: 3943
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:51 pm

Indeed they don't need to be occupied, although some airlines prefer it so in case of an emergency the exits can be opened faster. However if they're not occupied, the first person to reach those exits can open them. It's an airline policy, not something enforced by the government or anything like that.

Only requirement is that the person sitting in the exit row, if any, is able to open the exit row in case of an emergency. That means no small children or disabled persons are allowed to sit there.
 
VHOGU
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:50 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:34 am

In Australia on the b737-800 if there is 144 pax or more there must 2 pax per block of seats in exit row.
 
goosebayguy
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:12 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:07 am

I and another westerner have been seated on the exit row when flying between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The air hostess sat next to me chatting from the terminal until takeoff. She told me that they needed people who sat there to be fit and able to open the exit door. I also thought they wanted someone to talk to during the taxi.
 
debonair
Posts: 3558
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:34 am

NozPerry wrote:
At Small Planet (S5) it wasn’t a requirement to have someone seated at the overwing exits, which I always thought was weird. But then again they allowed e-cigarette use on flights so I can’t complain


That is illegal - exit rows mus be occupied:

The newly introduced point (a) of AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 clarifies that at least one seat on each side in
a seat row with direct access to emergency exits (not staffed by cabin crew members) should be
occupied by passengers during taxiing, take-off and landing. ... AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 is amended in response to a practice increasingly followed by some EU
operators whereby seat(s)/seat rows with direct access to exits (not staffed by cabin crew members)
are left empty during taxiing, take-off and landing if no passenger has paid the extra charge imposed by
the operator for the occupancy of those seats. :alert: :alert:


source: https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/defaul ... -012-R.pdf
 
n729pa
Posts: 1109
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:44 am

In late 2017 I flew from Heathrow to Pisa and back, for the day on a Sunday. The morning flight with BA was a A319, and we had 11 people on it, 1 in business and 10 in economy. I was sat around row 6 and was feeling a bit crowded as across the aisle was a father and his teenage son. Just before we left the gate we were asked if we would mind going back to cover the exits on our respective sides, which we did.

You wouldn't normally expect a flight to be that quiet, but clearly they wanted the exits covered, we got the extra space and legroom etc., so not a problem
 
flyjay123
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:07 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:57 am

Interesting topic. I flew back to London from Turkey recently on Sun Express, and the crew moved me to overwing exit row which was was empty as they needed someone to assist in an emergency.
It's interesting the universal rule about disabled persons on exit rows; I wear a caliper for foot drop, so im technically 'disabled' . You can't see it under my trousers and I walk completely normal when it's on! The crew on Sun Express didnt know i was wearing it.

However in a situation where the rules are the rows don't need to be occupied ie, the first person to reach it in an emergency can assist, that might be me - a 'disabled' passenger!
 
Tartarus
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:36 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:22 am

debonair wrote:
That is illegal - exit rows mus be occupied:

The newly introduced point (a) of AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 clarifies that at least one seat on each side in
a seat row with direct access to emergency exits (not staffed by cabin crew members) should be
occupied by passengers during taxiing, take-off and landing. ... AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 is amended in response to a practice increasingly followed by some EU
operators whereby seat(s)/seat rows with direct access to exits (not staffed by cabin crew members)
are left empty during taxiing, take-off and landing if no passenger has paid the extra charge imposed by
the operator for the occupancy of those seats. :alert: :alert:


source: https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/defaul ... -012-R.pdf



It's says "should" not "shall", therefore it is only a recommendation.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 3943
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:32 am

n729pa wrote:
In late 2017 I flew from Heathrow to Pisa and back, for the day on a Sunday. The morning flight with BA was a A319, and we had 11 people on it, 1 in business and 10 in economy. I was sat around row 6 and was feeling a bit crowded as across the aisle was a father and his teenage son. Just before we left the gate we were asked if we would mind going back to cover the exits on our respective sides, which we did.

You wouldn't normally expect a flight to be that quiet, but clearly they wanted the exits covered, we got the extra space and legroom etc., so not a problem


A bit off-topic, but last year I was also in Pisa and I remember seeing two planes bound for London within 10 minutes from each other. One was British Airways to Heathrow, the other was Ryanair to Stansted. The British airways flight, just like yours, hardly had any passengers on it. The Ryanair flight was packed to the brim, every single seat filled. That might be the reason your flight was that empty as British Airways is obviously more expensive than Ryanair. Still I think Ryanair made more money on that flight than British Airways.
 
SimProgrammer
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:50 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:49 pm

Cebu Pacific on several occasions invited me to occupy an exit row seat.

The crew require all bags to in the overhead bin and not under the seat.

They explain how to open the door in an emergency.

I'm not sure why I am singled out but it's nice to have the extra room.
Drive a bus, an Airbus, easier than a London bus!
 
n729pa
Posts: 1109
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:28 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
n729pa wrote:
In late 2017 I flew from Heathrow to Pisa and back, for the day on a Sunday. The morning flight with BA was a A319, and we had 11 people on it, 1 in business and 10 in economy. I was sat around row 6 and was feeling a bit crowded as across the aisle was a father and his teenage son. Just before we left the gate we were asked if we would mind going back to cover the exits on our respective sides, which we did.

You wouldn't normally expect a flight to be that quiet, but clearly they wanted the exits covered, we got the extra space and legroom etc., so not a problem


A bit off-topic, but last year I was also in Pisa and I remember seeing two planes bound for London within 10 minutes from each other. One was British Airways to Heathrow, the other was Ryanair to Stansted. The British airways flight, just like yours, hardly had any passengers on it. The Ryanair flight was packed to the brim, every single seat filled. That might be the reason your flight was that empty as British Airways is obviously more expensive than Ryanair. Still I think Ryanair made more money on that flight than British Airways.


The flight back was an A321 and it was rammed full. Pisa/Florence are quite popular for weekend trips so I suspect my Sunny morning flight was a slot filler. Ticket was cheap about £78 for a day return, I was glad I opted for upgrade coming back. I remember there being a Ryanair flight at the next gate too that was busy.
 
User avatar
spinkid
Posts: 1877
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 5:59 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:20 am

I have found that the luggage beneath the seats in an exit row having to be in the overhead bin has changed its level of enforcement. It used to be always. Not it seems airline optional.
 
AirbusA322
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:38 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:15 am

VHOGU wrote:
In Australia on the b737-800 if there is 144 pax or more there must 2 pax per block of seats in exit row.

Flew Virgin last week. All 12 seats were empty.
 
sincx
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:01 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:04 am

flyjay123 wrote:
Interesting topic. I flew back to London from Turkey recently on Sun Express, and the crew moved me to overwing exit row which was was empty as they needed someone to assist in an emergency.
It's interesting the universal rule about disabled persons on exit rows; I wear a caliper for foot drop, so im technically 'disabled' . You can't see it under my trousers and I walk completely normal when it's on! The crew on Sun Express didnt know i was wearing it.

However in a situation where the rules are the rows don't need to be occupied ie, the first person to reach it in an emergency can assist, that might be me - a 'disabled' passenger!

I think in the US the rule is "willing and able." If your disability doesn't affect your mobility (which sounds like it doesn't), you are able!
 
BAeRJ100
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:49 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:41 am

SimProgrammer wrote:
Cebu Pacific on several occasions invited me to occupy an exit row seat.

The crew require all bags to in the overhead bin and not under the seat.

They explain how to open the door in an emergency.


This is stock standard stuff for any occupied exit row at any airline.
B737/738/739/744ER/752/753/763/77L/77W/788/789
A223/320/321/332/333/346/359/388
MD82/MD88/717/F100/RJ85/RJ100/146-100/200/300
E175/190/CRJ700/900
 
Antarius
Posts: 1762
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:49 am

BAeRJ100 wrote:
SimProgrammer wrote:
Cebu Pacific on several occasions invited me to occupy an exit row seat.

The crew require all bags to in the overhead bin and not under the seat.

They explain how to open the door in an emergency.


This is stock standard stuff for any occupied exit row at any airline.


Only in some places. Others, you can have small bags in the exit row provided they fit under the seat in front.
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FlyingColours
Posts: 2325
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 3:13 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:17 am

I remember back in 2006 during my summer with First Choice Airways, I worked an A320 from Manchester to Malaga on the first flight of the season. It was a pretty much full load on the way out but the return flight which would normally be empty had 2 passengers on it who had booked a seat only ticket.

As we had passengers on board we had to go through the whole drill with a safety demo (video as a manual one would have been a bit uncomfortable for all concerned. We had to ask that they move to the overwing exits which they were happy to especially as there was better legroom.

On my first day at Islandsflug we flew a full load out to Rhodes but took a single passenger back to Bristol, that was a rather surreal experience. As it was a 737-400 there was no IFE so it was a modified manual safety demo and yes, she was in an overwing exit seat.

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
EBiafore99
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:50 pm

Tartarus wrote:
debonair wrote:
That is illegal - exit rows mus be occupied:

The newly introduced point (a) of AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 clarifies that at least one seat on each side in
a seat row with direct access to emergency exits (not staffed by cabin crew members) should be
occupied by passengers during taxiing, take-off and landing. ... AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 is amended in response to a practice increasingly followed by some EU
operators whereby seat(s)/seat rows with direct access to exits (not staffed by cabin crew members)
are left empty during taxiing, take-off and landing if no passenger has paid the extra charge imposed by
the operator for the occupancy of those seats. :alert: :alert:


source: https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/defaul ... -012-R.pdf



It's says "should" not "shall", therefore it is only a recommendation.


I don't necessarily agree. I was on a NK flight that wasn't full and the gate agent announced she needed people to sit in the exit rows or the flight could not depart. I wonder if there is a different requirement for full exit doors vs. window exits? The aircraft I was on had window exits.
 
UpNAWAy
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:42 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:26 pm

I'm guessing this is unicorn rare in the US. A whole row open on a flight especially an exit row with more leg room.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2115
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:26 am

debonair wrote:
That is illegal - exit rows of pax aircraft operated under EASA AOCs must be occupied ...


Fixed that for you.

In the U.S., operator policy may require that each exit row be occupied, but it's not an FAA mandate. 14 CFR § 121.585
 
silentbob
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:54 am

I know of a situation where an emergency was declared and everyone in the exit rows demanded to be moved. No other qualified passengers on the flight were willing to move to those seats and the flight was full. The exit row passengers were relocated and the airplane landed without anyone in the exit rows.
 
VHOGU
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:50 am

Re: Do airlines need to fill someone in the emergency exit row in a plane?

Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:17 pm

AirbusA322 wrote:
VHOGU wrote:
In Australia on the b737-800 if there is 144 pax or more there must 2 pax per block of seats in exit row.

Flew Virgin last week. All 12 seats were empty.

Must’ve been under 144 onboard.

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