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Drunk passengers in emergency / exit seats

Drunk passengers in emergency / exit seats

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Old Apr 26, 19, 3:50 pm
  #1  
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Drunk passengers in emergency / exit seats

Hello,

my first posting, even if I read since quite some time. On my flight from MIA to UVF (AA2295 on April 23th), there was a couple in their 50s on their honey moon. Good for them! The problem is that I had noticed already before boarding how drunk they were (it was far beyond any understandable exitement for this historic event, and their behaviour was all about beeing intoxicated). I assume it was alcohol only but I am not an expert.

I was sitting in the row behind the emergency seats and... voila... they were sitting in front of me, at the emergency seat. I noticed how the FA tried to professionally oversee and ignore the situation, and I must admit I made the big mistake of not asking the FA or the purser to have them seated to first class for example, and hopefully having not intoxicated people at the emergency exit. On a negative answer I would have had enough time to deboard before take off. Call me crazy, but I did really not feel comfortable during the entire flight because of them (as did other fellow passengers).

Take note that on this config it was 2 + 2 on the emergency exit row... therefore one door had to be operated by the honeymooners. Of course chances that an emergency occours is low, perhaps the FA could have helped, etc. etc. But if the FA ask people sitting their if they are willing and able to assist in case of emergency, I assume it has a certain importance.

During the flight the soon to be husband went back and forth a few times, always with new drinks. I can not say if the FA was smart enough to pour tonic water without Gin i the plastic cups.... or if he had a bottle somewhere. Still, the couple was wasted during the entire flight, literally dancing in the seat, shouting, singing, hardly able to keep their eyes propperly open. When walking everybody could witness how difficult it was for them....

Is this a situation where AA should have done something Is this something passengers must accept? I did send a mail to AA, all they said is they would investigate the situation... nothing else.I admit that I also asked for a compensation since I really had to be worried all the time. Nothing.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by villainstlucia; Apr 26, 19 at 4:22 pm
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:10 pm
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Honestly, if you're uncomfortable with the behavior of passengers during a flight or before a flight, you need to tell an FA. After the fact, it's pretty irrelevant. If the FA did nothing after you brought it to their attention, then that would be something to report to AA or the DOT.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:25 pm
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To me, it looks as if you weren’t particularly concerned until you thought you might gain compensation. There was, however, a pretty clear violation of 14 CFR § 121.585, which governs exit seating requirements. link. The FAs shirked their duties, and IMO a passenger registering a concern may likely have pushed them sufficiently to comply - and move the honeymooners to another, non-exit row. If there were no vacant seats, they should have exchanged seats with people mote able to act as required in an emergency. There are good reasons for the regulations and for a two minute goal in vacating an aircraft in an emergency.

Thankfully, aviation incidents are rare. But fate is not a very good thing to rely on when that time comes to you.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:25 pm
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GNRMatt, thanks for the reply. I was naive, and hoping the FAs would do something at any point. I tryed to comfort myself thinking I was exagerating, but I went on seeing that it was really serious..... I understand of course that no FA wants to ruin a honey moon.... but still this is frightening and not acceptable, at least this is my very personal opinion.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
To me, it looks as if you weren’t particularly concerned until you thought you might gain compensation.
I was sure this accusation would come. Thank you. Yes, I expect a compensation and no, I did not start beeing concerned when i thought I might get one.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:32 pm
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Not sure I understand why compensation would be due? If it were a customer service issue, I could see that. However, this was an issue related to perceived safety that could also be remedied on the spot. Why didn't you speak up while this was going on?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by villainstlucia View Post
I was sure this accusation would come. Thank you. Yes, I expect a compensation and no, I did not start beeing concerned when i thought I might get one.
Accusation? No, it’s my impression when it’s mentioned as a serious issue is not acted upon but is reported after the fact with a request for compensation.

Perhaps it’s just my jaded view as a onetime pilot and one who has flown commercially over seven decades. I’d worry about inflight safety, and there’s nothing to be compensated for - because IMO the discomfort wasn’t sufficiently significant enough to do anything about it.

It’s perhaps an overly harsh view for some, and I’m not attacking anyone, so I will own my view without imposing it. I’ll let go, because these are my final words on this topic. But - do read the law I linked to for further perspective should you choose a different action if you ever find yourself in a similar situation again.

Safe travels. And a belated welcome to a FlyerTalk landing.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The FAs shirked their duties
This is what I don't understand. If this couple was that visibly loaded why in god's name would a flight attendant allow them to remain seated in an exit row.

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Old Apr 26, 19, 5:01 pm
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Can you describe the passengers behaviour in precise terms? How was it it obvious that they were drunk?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 6:12 pm
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I was also on the same flight, but seated at the very back. I deserve compensation too.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
one who has flown commercially over seven decades.
Genuinely curious if that means you're over 70, or you've flown within each of seven consecutive spans of 10 years, which could be achieved by someone aged 50, provided his first flight was when he was an infant.

None of my business, and you did say this was your last post, on the OP's topic anyway, but that's some mad forum post formatting skills for a septuagenarian.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by villainstlucia View Post
Hello,

my first posting, even if I read since quite some time. On my flight from MIA to UVF (AA2295 on April 23th), there was a couple in their 50s on their honey moon. Good for them! The problem is that I had noticed already before boarding how drunk they were (it was far beyond any understandable exitement for this historic event, and their behaviour was all about beeing intoxicated). I assume it was alcohol only but I am not an expert.

I was sitting in the row behind the emergency seats and... voila... they were sitting in front of me, at the emergency seat. I noticed how the FA tried to professionally oversee and ignore the situation, and I must admit I made the big mistake of not asking the FA or the purser to have them seated to first class for example, and hopefully having not intoxicated people at the emergency exit. On a negative answer I would have had enough time to deboard before take off. Call me crazy, but I did really not feel comfortable during the entire flight because of them (as did other fellow passengers).

Take note that on this config it was 2 + 2 on the emergency exit row... therefore one door had to be operated by the honeymooners. Of course chances that an emergency occours is low, perhaps the FA could have helped, etc. etc. But if the FA ask people sitting their if they are willing and able to assist in case of emergency, I assume it has a certain importance.

During the flight the soon to be husband went back and forth a few times, always with new drinks. I can not say if the FA was smart enough to pour tonic water without Gin i the plastic cups.... or if he had a bottle somewhere. Still, the couple was wasted during the entire flight, literally dancing in the seat, shouting, singing, hardly able to keep their eyes propperly open. When walking everybody could witness how difficult it was for them....

Is this a situation where AA should have done something Is this something passengers must accept? I did send a mail to AA, all they said is they would investigate the situation... nothing else.I admit that I also asked for a compensation since I really had to be worried all the time. Nothing.

What are your thoughts?
The correct thing to do would be to alert the FA before takeoff and ask to have them removed from the plane. The GA never should have let them board. They were not fit to fly. They could have take the next flight (or, if they were that drunk, the first flight the next day) after they had sobered up.

Unfortunately, the only place that I have seen this enforced is Vegas (where they are most likely used to it and watching out for it).
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:37 pm
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It's definitely unsafe, no question about that. I've also been on flights during the evening where the cabin lights were not dimmed, another serious safety violation (it takes the human eye several minutes to adjust to the darkness of the night, necessary in the event of an emergency during take off). However, that being said, the current climate (e.g. David Dao) may not be receptive to passengers pointing out issues to FAs lest they be seen as questioning their authority. I wouldn't be surprised if OP got booted from the flight upon raising an eye-brow for such a serious oversight. Unfortunately, it seems like it'll take an awful incident for us to realize the value of passenger and FA vigilance in keeping flight safe and not take such things for granted.

Safe Travels As Always,

James
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bambinomartino View Post
Genuinely curious if that means you're over 70, or you've flown within each of seven consecutive spans of 10 years, which could be achieved by someone aged 50, provided his first flight was when he was an infant.

None of my business, and you did say this was your last post, on the OP's topic anyway, but that's some mad forum post formatting skills for a septuagenarian.
JDiver is one of FT's most experienced and valuable moderators and contributors. He has been flying AA since the 1940s, hopefully soon to be in 9 different decades. No surprise that his posts are well-informed (and well-formatted) whatever his age.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 8:03 pm
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There is no disagreement that intoxicated people should not be in the exit row. However,I find it a little strange to ask for compensation for having to be "worried" when there was something that could have been done to ameliorate the situation and the worry -- and that is inform the cabin crew. Perhaps an explanation of why compensation is expected would help me understand,
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