Safety First?

Tracy Stewart, May 31, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. What should I do if I see that the people seated in the exit row appear to be incapable of lifting those quite heavy over-wing exit doors in case of an emergency? I just returned on a flight and the people sitting in the exit row were clearly frail and elderly. One appeared to be sight-impaired. I am 68 years old, so I have nothing against senior citizens, but it seems now that you can “buy your way” into the roomier exit row seats for a fee, airlines are putting safety ahead of revenue. Should I have said something to the flight attendants? Yes, the flight attendants make an announcement that if people in the exit rows “feel” they are incapable of lifting the doors in an emergency then the should be asked to be reseated, but I don’t think the decision should be left up to “feelings.”

    A. You raise a good point, and yes I think you could politely say something to the flight attendants next time you see a situation like this. But it’s a very touchy subject. Should flight attendants monitor the alcohol intake of people sitting next to the over-wing exits? And who’s to say that an 80-year-old, but very fit, senior wouldn’t act more responsibly and calmly in an emergency than someone younger?

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