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Did Continental Flight 1417 Violate Safety Protocol?

Posted by LOTGK on January 22, 2012

Continental Flight 1417

So I’m flying from Houston, Texas back home to Youngstown, Ohio and I board the 3:30pm flight on Continental. I take my seat and notice the plane is not full at all. In fact, there are under 50 passengers a few minutes before the cabin door is closed.

SWEET! I now know that I will have plenty of extra room for no one is sitting in the center row seat. In fact, no is sitting in the window seat either.

Anyway, I spy that no one is sitting in the emergency row exit and I ask the flight attendant if I could move up two rows to sit there. The flight attendant politely informs me that those seats are premium seats and thus cost more. If I want to sit there, she would have to charge me $69 dollars. I remind her that no is sitting there and in fact, there are only about 50 seats taken out of 200. The flight attendant informs me it is airline policy, if I want a premium seat, I must pay a premium of $69 dollars. I slumped back in my chair.

The plane backs out and readies for takeoff as it slowly taxi’s down the runway. At this time the flight attendant begins her safety speech. (In the event of a water landing… If the cabin loses air pressure… There are four exits on this plane… etc…)

At this time I again check the emergency row and still no one is sitting there. I find this quite odd for in all the flights over the years I traveled, there were always people sitting in the emergency row exits. I am frequently one of those passengers. And the flight attendant always asked the people sitting there if we were willing to assist the crew in case of an emergency. Each passenger had to verbally acknowledge with a yes. This procedure didn’t happen on this flight.

Hence my question: Did Continental Flight 1417 violate safety protocol for not having able bodied passengers sitting in the emergency row to assist in case of an emergency?

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5 Responses to “Did Continental Flight 1417 Violate Safety Protocol?”

  1. Luke 3:16 said

    I believe that an airline must have someone in the exit rows to assist in case of an emergency. Did no one sit there the entire flight?

  2. John said

    No, the airline did NOT violate ANY regulations by not allowing you or any other person willing to spend the extra $69 to sit there.
    The only things that is regulated about the emergency row are “WHEN someone sits there” they must be able to comply with the requirements listed on the emegency briefing card (ie, age, english speaking, willing to help, physically able to help, etc…)
    Answer suplied by a Air Transport Pilot & former FAA Inspector.

  3. Gumby said

    How can that airline afford to stay in business with only 50 people on board. No wonder flying is expensive.

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