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77H
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Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:29 am

Good Evening All,

Reading and engaging in the UA Exit Row Escape thread got me thinking about something I've thought in the past.

I have been on numerous flights where the exit rows are unoccupied and remain that way throughtout the flight. When a person sits in an exit row they assume responsibilities for assisting in the evacuation. When no one sits in an exit row, who assumes responsibility? The simple answer would be cabin crew but in a real life incident crew would most likely be stationed near the doors and assisting passengers forward and aft. In a real life incident seconds matter and having the window exits open for egress could very well mean the difference between life and death.

Its tough to assume that just any random passenger is going to take the initiative to get to a window and operate it having not been briefed in chaotic, life threatening situation.

I understand that exit rows offer extra legroom which airlines generally sell as "premium" seats, but is it wise/safe to keep them unoccupied once the doors close and the seats have limited or no up-sell value? Seems like having as many hands on deck to assist in evacuations is never a bad thing.

77H
 
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GCT64
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:36 am

I've been on plenty of UK and Irish operated flights where pax have been asked to move into the overwing exit rows if they are empty (or even move to the window seat if they are in the aisle seat) - for exactly the reason you say. I recall I looked into this and it is a regulatory requirement here to have someone in the window seat on those rows.
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yonahleung
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:45 am

I observed on Transavia France that they need someone to fill the exit row. But it is not the case for Hong Kong registered aircraft. Indeed, Hong Kong Express up-sells the exit row on the flight and it is the first announcement they would make past 10,000ft immediately after turning seat belt sign off.
 
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Aeroflot777
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:50 am

Often times the exit rows go unoccupied. I think the modern-day "pay-for-everything" model that airlines have implemented deter people from spending more $$$ and buying an exit row, even if it means extra legroom. On a few of my flights these past few months I've politely asked FAs if I can switch to exit row seats once boarding was completed and no one had an issue. This was aboard separate flights on Austrian, Transavia and Ryanair. Oddly enough, I was the only one in the whole row on all three flights while the entire rest of the plane was packed.
 
77H
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:05 am

Aeroflot777 wrote:
Often times the exit rows go unoccupied. I think the modern-day "pay-for-everything" model that airlines have implemented deter people from spending more $$$ and buying an exit row, even if it means extra legroom. On a few of my flights these past few months I've politely asked FAs if I can switch to exit row seats once boarding was completed and no one had an issue. This was aboard separate flights on Austrian, Transavia and Ryanair. Oddly enough, I was the only one in the whole row on all three flights while the entire rest of the plane was packed.


This has been my experience on U.S. Carriers as well. Full flights with empty exit rows. Difference is, the FA's are usually not so inclined to give the seats up gratis.
 
jetfan
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:31 am

On a recent flight on AB, I was not allowed to use the exit row even after no one was willing to pay the extra fee for a short 1 1/2 h flight. So the exit row was left unoccupied.
Also I have seen in many cases the occupants of the exit row had less than desired ability levels and were still allowed to sit in the exit row. In reality, no one dares to move them.
 
StTim
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:37 am

In the old days of Easyjet and unallocated seating I have seen the cabin crew move people who did not fit the requirements from the exit row. One was a rather substantial gentleman and another was a family with children.

I have never seen a flight with an empty exit row seats.
 
iahcsr
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:00 am

US regulations require 15 years, 'willing and able to assist' in an emergency to sit in exit row.
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GCT64
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:02 am

GCT64 wrote:
I've been on plenty of UK and Irish operated flights where pax have been asked to move into the overwing exit rows if they are empty (or even move to the window seat if they are in the aisle seat) - for exactly the reason you say. I recall I looked into this and it is a regulatory requirement here to have someone in the window seat on those rows.


More research suggests that it is an IAA (Irish) requirement but not a CAA (UK) requirement to have the emergency exits occupied (which would explain why I saw it a lot on Virgin Little Red flights).

From 2012:

"Ryanair is registered as an Irish airline and has to comply with IAA rules, which differ slightly to the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK (CAA). While the CAA does not require the emergency exit row to be occupied, the IAA does. Although Ryanair maintains that passengers in surrounding rows are briefed on how to use the exits in an emergency, the IAA is concerned that travellers who are expected to operate these doors in an emergency are not allowed to sit in these seats during the flight. An IAA spokesperson said: “Ryanair have initiated a policy of charging a premium for such seats and the IAA is in discussion with Ryanair as to how this new policy conforms to IAA requirements.”
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oldannyboy
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:54 pm

Interesting reading... which prompts me to point out how differently airlines brief (or rather DON'T brief) their emergency exit row passengers.. Some are pretty casual/careless with FAs simply pointing to these passengers the emergency exits, et voila'.. while others really do take their time to explain how to operate the exits etc. and actually check that passengers are able-bodied AND willing to help in an emergency. Of all the many airlines I have flown with throughout the years, the one that stands out the most in my mind as the epitome of a professional, serious attitude concerning this precise matter is (was, rather..) Brymon Airways (BA franchise for their latter years). They always invariably made sure that somebody was indeed sitting on said seats, carefully explained the use of said exits; made equally sure that these people were willing to help, and that they also had a good command of the English language. If one of above boxed remained unticked, they then politely re-shuffled pax around in the cabin of their dash-8s. They were real pros...
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:08 pm

77H wrote:
Good Evening All,

Reading and engaging in the UA Exit Row Escape thread got me thinking about something I've thought in the past.

I have been on numerous flights where the exit rows are unoccupied and remain that way throughtout the flight. When a person sits in an exit row they assume responsibilities for assisting in the evacuation. When no one sits in an exit row, who assumes responsibility? The simple answer would be cabin crew but in a real life incident crew would most likely be stationed near the doors and assisting passengers forward and aft. In a real life incident seconds matter and having the window exits open for egress could very well mean the difference between life and death.

Its tough to assume that just any random passenger is going to take the initiative to get to a window and operate it having not been briefed in chaotic, life threatening situation.

I understand that exit rows offer extra legroom which airlines generally sell as "premium" seats, but is it wise/safe to keep them unoccupied once the doors close and the seats have limited or no up-sell value? Seems like having as many hands on deck to assist in evacuations is never a bad thing.

77H


I've been on flights in which I have been upgraded to an exit row after initially sitting in my assigned seat, because no one wanted to pay the premium to pay for the exit row seats.
 
luftaom
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:12 pm

On Qantas 737's the company policy is that there must be at least 2 people (who have received the briefing) in each of the 3 seats adjacent to the exit for takeoff and landing.

I have done at least 100 flights sat in exit rows in recent years (across more than a dozen airlines) and the briefing has ranged from none at all, to Jetstar Australia.

JQ's briefing is the standard against which all others ought to be measured. It is the exact same briefing every time (word for word), has been well thought through and is above all very comprehensive.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:23 pm

StTim wrote:
In the old days of Easyjet and unallocated seating I have seen the cabin crew move people who did not fit the requirements from the exit row. One was a rather substantial gentleman and another was a family with children.

I have never seen a flight with an empty exit row seats.


Neither have I, they've always been full.

One time I was on a Wizzair flight and in those days Wizzair did not yet use assigned seating, so you could sit wherever you wanted. However if someone was taking an exit row seat the cabin crew immediately came to see if you had paid for it and otherwise if you were willing to pay a certain amount of money to sit there. Nobody did this, so they remained empty. However, once the boarding had been completed they selected some random passengers and asked them if they wanted to sit in the exit rows for free. Unfortunately they didn't pick me, because the regular seats on Wizzair are rather crappy.

However there's one thing in this example that concerns me. They let a family with children sit in the exit seat rows? That sounds rather odd, specially since children mostly like to sit in the window seat. This would mean in case of an emergency a child would need to operate the emergency exit. In how far is that legal? Doesn't a person in the emergency exit seat have to be of a certain age and length?
 
aklrno
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:08 pm

luftaom wrote:
On Qantas 737's the company policy is that there must be at least 2 people (who have received the briefing) in each of the 3 seats adjacent to the exit for takeoff and landing.

I have done at least 100 flights sat in exit rows in recent years (across more than a dozen airlines) and the briefing has ranged from none at all, to Jetstar Australia.

JQ's briefing is the standard against which all others ought to be measured. It is the exact same briefing every time (word for word), has been well thought through and is above all very comprehensive.

So that means 6 passengers in 3 seats? Or is it that two of the three seats must be occupied?
 
luftaom
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:19 am

2/3
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ro1960
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:21 pm

So what happens if you paid extra for exit row seat and after being briefed you are not "willing" to assist on a full plane? The FA will ask another passenger to switch with you and you ask him to pay back the extra fee?
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Starlionblue
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:03 am

ro1960 wrote:
So what happens if you paid extra for exit row seat and after being briefed you are not "willing" to assist on a full plane? The FA will ask another passenger to switch with you and you ask him to pay back the extra fee?


If memory serves, the airlines warn you in the small print before you pay. Something like, "by choosing this seat, you agree to bla bla bla..." Essentially you give consent before payment.

Now, if you have given such consent but the cabin crew determines you are unfit when you're already on board, I assume you can get a refund.
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NozPerry
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:55 am

At my airline it's not our SOP that someone has to sit at the overwing exits for take off and landing however in a pre planned evacuation one person would be moved to each exit and the ccm3/4 would leave from the aircraft left and right overwing after conducting a quick search of the cabin.
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HAWK21M
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Re: Exit Row Seating and Responsibilty

Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:54 am

Out here....the overwing exit will always be occupied by a pax, if not a crew member will take the seat.
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