What happens if the exit row is empty?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by chef4u, May 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    Recently, I flew on UA from ORD - SEA. Of the 2 over the wing exit rows ( 15/16) only one seat was taken. In the event of the doors needing to be opened, I would like to know who is responsible. I politely asked if I could move from row 17 to row 16, but was sternly informed by the flight attendant that those rows had extra leg room and would cost an extra $59. My thoughts....give me a break! Are the airlines that petty not to give anyone a $59 "OP-UP"?

    Comments welcome!
     
  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Its not being petty IMHO. Its their policy. With hardly any airlines showing profit, they're not going to be sympathetic to giving you something for free if it normally has a fee associated with it. If you wanted the leg room, its for sale. Its no different than any other product sold by any other vendor. You don't go into Home Depot and suggest they give you free nails just because they have thousands of them just sitting there not being used. :)

    I am curious though about the safety perspective and leaving these seats open regardless of whether or not they are premium seats.
     
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  3. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    I didn't want the legroom....row 17 aisle was ok. It was more about the safety issue, but extra leg-room is always welcome.

    In regards to revenue, is it no different then giving somebody an op-up to j from y? You now incurr the extra costs of free alocohol and meals?
     
  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    If the op up is based on status and loyalty, its the airlines attempt to retain the passenger for future revenue. I agree, they lose operating margins because now they're feeding/seating someone in a better seat than was paid for. But thats the status aspect of the ff programs. Its designed to keep their most frequent flyers happy so they come back.
     
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  5. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    744...agreed. Even so, seemed a little petty,but I guess we can agree to disagree :)
     
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  6. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    I don't think the exit row needs to be occupied by passengers for safety reasons -- it's really the FA's responsibility to sit in the jump seat and operate the door. They just didn't want blind or deaf people sitting there, since they could be a hindrance in an emergency. As I recall, when the rule was being written it was felt there would be discrimination objections if it was worded to exclude them. So they wrote the rule the way they did so it sounds non-discriminatory but achieves the same result.
     
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  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    UA charges people who sit in the exit row and E+. If they allowed people to move up to empty E+ seats after the plane took off, there would be no incentive to make people pay extra or acquire elite status ahead of time. In the days before unlimited domestic upgrades, they wouldn't allow you to move up to F just because there was an empty seat. And even now, you have to have status for that, just like you do for free E+. It

    As for the "danger" of an empty exit row, I don't think there is any. I think the real reason they have rules about who sits there is that, if there is an emergency, you don't want a child or an elderly person in the way as people try to exit. Ideally there would be no people in the exit row. It keeps it accessible and clear. But if you have to have people there, and the airlines obviously want some extra revenue from potentially 12 more people in two exit rows, then you would want to at least set some guidelines for who is allowed to sit there. If you'e going to block the door, you better be able to open it.
     
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  8. Angust
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    Angust Silver Member

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    If they don't up any one from Y to J, then the FA, gets to enjoy the meals :) I have seen many times the tray from F going with some FA to coach. :)) Wonder if they had to account for meals on the plane like they do the booze shots lol.
     
  9. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    As others have pointed out, it wouldn't be fair to the people that paid the $59 (or whatever the fee is) for you to get the same benefit for free.

    And lets not forget what an op-up is. You get an op-up from Y to F or C to F happen when they are in an oversold situation in one cabin, but have seats available in the next class of service.

    So if all the rows behind the exit rows were completely full yet they had E+/ELR seats that were available, then yes, you'd see an op-up.
     
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  10. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Do you think the flight attendant would have said anything if you just moved and sat there?
     
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  11. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    The FA would at least (hopefully) recognize that the new person in the exit row hadn't been given an exit row briefing and is, therefore, sitting there in defiance of FAA regulations. I would hope that the FA would either kick that person back to his/her original seat, charge (if applicable), and at the very least conduct the briefing.
     
  12. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I don't see how you can be mad at someone when you ask them to break the rules and they say no. I can understand your frustration seeing as how that otherwise would have been an empty row, but what incentive is there for an FA to let you sit there? none. sorry :(
     
  13. ezraulo

    ezraulo Active Member

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    i often fly us air shuttle lga-dca. if there's an empty exit row seat, they're generally happy to let you sit there if you ask. granted, lots of flyers are status flyers so there's usually someone there already, but for early afternoon flights, plane's normally empty.
     
  14. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    Not sure....I don't like to break the rules
     
  15. chef4u
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    Not mad...just frustrated.

    Incentive.....what ever happened to the 'friendly' skys of United?
     
  16. Exiled in Express
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    Exiled in Express Gold Member

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    I had a FA draft bodies for exit row duties on an empty flight citing FAA regulations. :rolleyes: DC9 not sure if it was NW or DL's certificate at the time.
     
  17. rkt10
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    rkt10 Silver Member

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    I'm not sure if I agree with your analogy. If Home Depot doesn't sell their nails today, they can still sell them tomorrow. Whereas the value of the seats is of limited duration. Once the flight is over, those seats on that flight can never be sold again.
    Consider TV or radio stations. If they don't fill the advertising airtime with paid advertising, they don't just go with "dead air". Rather, they bundle advertising packages so frequent advertisers will get a "deal" for having less control over their advertising buy.

    I submit that an "opt up" is more similar an analogy. Give that extra leg room to your frequent customers.
    PS, I do sympathize with the plight of airline profits.
     
  18. Infinite1K
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    The skies were never that friendly to fill up empty seats in the next section (whether E->E+ or E+->C/F or C-> F) just because there were empty seats.
     
  19. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Please don't take this the wrong way, but "if you give as mouse a cookie..."

    I'm sure the flight attendants get really sick of people asking all day if they can move seats to E+ and exit rows. I'm sure they don't really like enforcing the policy either. In your case it would have been the "friendly" thing to do to let you move as you probably weren't bothering anyone else, but if they let everyone do it "just this time", then the next time they're faced with "well, last time they let me move". I'm not necessarily saying that's you or you would do that, but try to look at it from their perspective. In the long run they are only making it harder on themselves by giving in. It's just so much easier for them, unfortunately, to say no.
     
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  20. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Im of the opinion that for safety reasons it's better to have at least one qualified, designated, and briefed person in each exit row (not each exit row seat, i.e., at least one on each side in aircraft with 3-3 seating). I've seen FAs pick good candidates and ask them whether they're willing to move to an exit row. I've also seen airlines (notably PMNW) seem to deliberately give exit row seats to their nonrevs, presumably after the assigned occupants have been upgraded. This makes sense because an off-duty FA, for example, should be good at opening the door and a TA/GA/executive no worse than average I would think, maybe better because they probably travel a lot and are interested in planes.
     
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  21. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    Ooh, I have a good analogy! It's like paying to see a movie in the theater. The movie is playing on the regular screen and also on IMAX at the same time. You pay for the regular screening, but walk into the IMAX theater. They may or may not notice you doing so (most places actually collect stubs at the doors of the IMAX/3D theaters), but you're still not entitled to it. Just to needlessly further the analogy, we'll say that 3D is first class. :p
     
  22. Cage
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    Cage Silver Member

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    If the exit rows are empty (e.g. both sides of the aisle), then a flight attendant must sit at the exit row for takeoff and landing. (IIRC)

    This is why on really empty flights the FAs get a pax to sit in the exit row to reduce their work effort and allow them to chat at the back of the airplane.
     
  23. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Yesterday I flew ORD-PDX on a UA A320 (exit aisle).
    Plane was nearly full, except for 3 exit middle seats, including the one next to me. :)

    I think I actually had more legroom than being in F.
     

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