We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
120 posts
Save Topic
United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

Flew United last week from Newark to Las Vegas. Was very surprised(and concerned) that 4 exit rows were left empty because no one payed for an upgraded seat there.

One passenger even asked if he could move there from economy and was told no...unless he paid for the upgrade. Very concerning to me they would leave them open. Thoughts?

uk
Level Contributor
2,686 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

Why concerning ? If they start giving them away for free no one would bother paying would they?

Deb

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

If you are asking from a safety standpoint, there is no is sue with leaving them empty. Probably safer than some of the people I've seen sitting there, who IMO would certainly not be able to handle the doors.

And, yes, you have to pay to sit there.

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
19,541 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

I know if you are seated in the exit rows you have to meet the relevant criteria but am not aware of any regulation or rule that requires the exit row seats to be occupied.

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
120 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

I don't know,just me I guess..but from a safety standpoint I would prefer someone was seated right there and have been briefed. There were upgraded seats that were occupied in the rows ahead of the exit rows..the least they could have done is ask if they were interested in moving a row back. That would have cost the airline nothing.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,540 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

Hi,

Tom is correct... Within the US there is no regulation by the FAA that requires carriers to insure occupancy of exit rows on flights. There is also no regulation that prohibits the carriers from leviying a charge to occupy these seats, nor is there any regulation that prohibits carriers from assigning these seats (or not) in any specific order,

The FAA only speaks to the required quailfications of anyone who does occupy these seat.

Travel Safe,

UK
Level Contributor
6,107 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

I see empty emergency exit rows on KLM flights on a regular basis, especially on very short flights... and like the OP I am concerned about this. Apparently there are no laws in the EU either that mandate that emergency exit rows have to be occupied... but what would happen if (God forbid) the aircraft had to be evacuated using the emergency exits? Who would open them if no one has been given the emergency exit briefing? Lives could be lost...

Perhaps we should all lobby our governments to get the laws changed.

Edited: 12:41 pm, April 24, 2014
Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,129 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

>>Who would open them if no one has been given the emergency exit briefing? <<

Ummmm.....the FAs who have undergone much more training in opening doors and evacuation procedures than a 20 second briefing.

Fortaleza, CE
Level Contributor
9,183 posts
376 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

Any briefing is, well, brief at best. Usually a FA telling people they have to say out loud whether they can, and are willing to, follow the instructions given to them. They're asked to read the safety cards in the seat pocket. Not all do. The FAs may end up doing the procedures, anyway. Easier if the exit row is empty.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14,528 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

"I don't know,just me I guess..but from a safety standpoint I would prefer someone was seated right there and have been briefed"

There is no briefing at all other than the regular security briefing everyone gets. As poster 8 said, all they do is ask if you are capable of opening the door in case of an emergency.

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
8,148 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: United Airlines leaving exit rows empty?

3 weeks ago I sat in an over wing exit seat on a Thompson flight, I was asked all the fit, healthy etc questions and then I was talked through how to open the exit. I was then asked to read the instructions.

On most 737 type aircraft the cabin crew are nowhere near these exits on take off and landing so would not be able to operate them if there was an emergency. It is likely that aisles would be crowded and they would be unable to get to these exits.

I agree with the OP, surely it should be that these rows must be occupied on take off and landing for safety. At least someone has been briefed but if they are not occupied this could cause loss of life. However I'm sure airlines only want to protect revenue.

A very interesting point.