Assigning exit row seats to obviously incompetent people...

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Liezelmit, Feb 19, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Liezelmit

    Liezelmit New Member

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    As a frequent flyer, loyal to my preferred airline, I am amazed at how obviously incompetent to an emergency situation some people seated in exit rows are.

    I wonder what criteria is actually used when QA assigns their exit row seats?

    ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    How many emergency situations have you been in where the exit row people were obviously incompetent? Did they hinder an evacuation?

    Welcome to MP.
     
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  3. John Deere

    John Deere Silver Member

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    Are you kidding?
    Even if the chances are extremely low, would you want to be on the one plane that does have an emergency, with incompetent people sitting at the exit row?
     
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  4. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Incompetence is subjective though, and how can that be used to determine how a person will react in an emergency?
     
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  5. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    Hartford -> IAD on a CRJ. I was way early and went standby on the earlier flight. I didn't clear. They wouldn't let a passenger board because he was too intoxicated.

    They board my flight and wouldn't you know it? Yep, they seated him in the exit row.

    So he was so drunk an hour or two earlier you would not let him fly, and now you're sitting him in the exit row?
     
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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Oh, well, just be happy that he wasn't flying the airplane!

    See #5 and #7 of the following:
    http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/02/01/10-terrible-airline-pilots-hope-to-never-fly-with/
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The FA is supposed to get a verbal confirmation from the passenger that they are willing and able. They also must be 15 or older and not traveling with anyone younger than that (parents of young kids on the plane cannot have an exit row with the kids elsewhere on board). That's pretty much the entirety of the rules.

    I did end up in an exit row by accident last Sunday. I was seated 2 rows forward and during the check one of the pax clearly didn't understand English. I swapped with her to get us on the way as I had a connection to make.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    A year or so ago I was seated in the aisle in the exit row of a CRJ-200. The old frail guy who took the window seat toward the end of the boarding process couldn't walk down the aisle without assistance. His (apparent) middle aged daughter had to tell him several times that this was his seat and then buckle his seat belt for him. To me (as a nonprofessional) it appeared that he had an advanced case of Parkinson's combined with Alzheimer's or dementia. The FA didn't care, even when I told her that she should ask him the "willing and able" question and get his answer as I was NOT traveling with him so asking me was not enough. Still nothing was done, despite having someone who was too old, too sick, and too senile to be anything but an obstacle in an emergency. (I reassured myself that if there were an emergency, I could easily shove him out of the way.)
     
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  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    While I thought there was an age limit (15 or older) is there also an old-age limit? I'm well over the latter, so I don't even consider going for an exit row any more, even though I still could physically lift a 50lb. exit door and toss it out or on the seat. Some years ago on an AA B757 flying from DFW-RNO, my wife and I were seated in an exit row. Across the aisle from us was a woman and her two young daughters who we guessed couldn't have been more than 12 or 13 years old. Mentioned this obvious breach of the exit row rules to the FA but she just shrugged and walked on.

    Yeah yeah, I know, we should have minded our own business. But if there had been a fire outside of our side of the exit row and we had to use the other side's exit row door...........!
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, there is not a prescribed upper age limit.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I was in a similar situation to TPA last year... I think they booked the exit row on purpose because of the added legroom, but I certainly don't think that anybody that has serious issues just getting to his row will be competent enough to deal with the door in case of an emergency.

    It apparently didn't bother the FA all that much, or the rest of the people in the row.

    It's of little consequence to me at this point... I've made it a habit to not be too complacent inside airplanes nowadays, with all the crazies out there trying to open cabin doors and what-not. My routine now includes coming up with a list of people that could be trouble and an exit strategy as soon as I sit down. It might be a bit nefarious but if anything ever happens I'd rather have a plan than have to come up with it on the fly.
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    No matter how often I fly, I always look around and find the exits.

    I also annoy FAs on European carriers because I point out bags near me that aren't under the seat, especially when people try to keep their briefcases behind their legs for takeoff and landing.
     
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  13. karfi

    karfi New Member

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    It's a huge issue when flying in parts of Europe that people takes too much carry-on luggage with them (since they don' want to pay for checked in with the LCC as Ryan Air, Norwegian, WizzAir ...). The results is that others have to stuff their things behind their legs, so please consider that before complaining to the FA. Regarding the issue on hand - whom is allowed to sit at the emergency rows - my experience is that the FA doesn't care as long as one traveller on each side of the aile on the e row is "fit".
     
  14. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    How many have set in an exit seat, only to find out it will no go back.

    Odds are the nearer the front, you will get out quicker.
     
  15. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    If it's an aircraft with two exit rows in front of one another (row 20 and 21 on UA for example), the front one usually has little or no recline, while the back one (row 21 in this case) usually has a regular reclining seat.
     
  16. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    My life is more important than some one else's luggage or desire to avoid checked bag fees. However, I don't fly LCCs. I was referring to flights in carriers such as KLM, AF, LH, SAS, LX, etc.
     
  17. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    And just how obviously incompetent are these people? :rolleyes:
     
  18. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    There are obvious cases.
    The other day on AA there was a guy in the forward exit row who could
    barely wedge himself into his seat and could hardly buckle up even with
    the seat extender. I mentioned this to my seatmate, who replied she'd
    seen persons of size who were remarkably fit and could perform physical
    feats that I might not be able to. But midflight the guy tried to go to
    the bathroom and took at least 10 seconds to extricate himself from the
    embrace of the chair arms; and then he could hardly walk to the back
    of the plane.
     
  19. sfo1
    Original Member

    sfo1 Silver Member

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    More important how do you determine that the person is rational and in an emergency situation whether competent to open the door or not, is rational enough and psychologically fit to address the situation
     
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  20. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    I remember flying on Croatia Airlines a few years ago, I was in the exit row aisle seat and the window seat was occupied by a very frail nun who was at least in her mid 70's, perhaps she could have opened the exit door but really doubt it, I was a bit concerned, she seemed to be meditating or praying on the short flight and so was I, praying that is:eek:
     
  21. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    Does that automatically disqualify him from performing what needs to be done in an emergency situation?
     
  22. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Remember AF 358, the A340 that crashed in the ravine at YYZ on a stormy afternoon? I usually saw that flight on its approach from my office window NE of the airport, and the BA and KLM widebodies that also came in within a few minutes of AF if they all used the same runway.

    On that very stormy, windy afternoon when the aircraft slid off the runway and dropped into the ravine at the end, every one of the pax and crew were able to evacute the plane within the 90 seconds needed to get off safely and just before the plane burst into a devastating fire. So yes, while the pax of size may not have been disqualified just because of his size, in this instance the fact that it took him several tries just to get out of his seat may have cost some lives, in not being able to get the exit door open quickly, or by blocking the exit row aisle as he struggled to get up while others waited to deplane.
     
  23. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I think if you'd seen the person and were at all fair-minded you'd have agreed that
    the person would be an obstacle to - if not prevent altogether - a timely emergency
    evacuation.
     
  24. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    I don't judge books by the cover. I'm just asking the question. :) The way I read this, the person in the exit row is profiled just for being big.
     
  25. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    Stereotypes are troublesome, but they evolved for a reason.
     

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