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Parents removed out of exit row seating for an accent

Parents removed out of exit row seating for an accent

Old Feb 17, 2022, 11:21 am
  #1  
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Parents removed out of exit row seating for an accent

My parents are in flight now JFK-SFO with my brother. They were removed out of the exit row because the flight attendant deemed their English not proficient enough to sit there and moved to the back.

My parents were confused by this but they dont want to make a big deal out of it. My brother is with them and livid because he feels the FA was also very rude about it.

My parents have lived in the US for decades. They do speak with a heavy accent. My brother is a native English speaker.

According to my brother the agent at the gate asked them about the exit row requirements and allowed them to board after they verbally agreed. When on board a FA passing by informed my Dad he had a personal item that needed to be put in the overhead compartment. After speaking to them the FA made them move.

During beverage service a different FA came to apologize and comped some drinks.

I guess a refund for the exit row seats should be issued when writing to JetBlue but this is very disappointing.
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Old Feb 17, 2022, 2:00 pm
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File a complaint with the DOT. They keep track of these types of complaints and report it monthly.
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...ling_complaint

Page 53 of the Jan 2022 report shows an example of the reporting.
https://www.transportation.gov/sites...022%20ATCR.pdf
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Old Feb 17, 2022, 2:16 pm
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Are your parents on the older/frailer side? It is possible that they might have been asked to move not because of the accent but because the FA didn't think they were physically up to the task of lifting and tossing a 30-40 pound exit door. I've heard that some FAs will move people out of an exit row if the person is unable to lift their own carry-on into the overhead bin.
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Old Feb 17, 2022, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by chococat
Are your parents on the older/frailer side? It is possible that they might have been asked to move not because of the accent but because the FA didn't think they were physically up to the task of lifting and tossing a 30-40 pound exit door. I've heard that some FAs will move people out of an exit row if the person is unable to lift their own carry-on into the overhead bin.
They are in their 60s and while older I would not describe them as "frail" as my dad is a heavier guy who still shovels and can handle his own 40-50 pound checked baggage. They also usually only travel with a messenger bag for carry-ons.

The FA communicated it was a language issue for their move.
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Old Feb 17, 2022, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter
My parents have lived in the US for decades. They do speak with a heavy accent. My brother is a native English speaker.
If your parents' "heavy accent" is such that the F/A could have reasonably concluded that they might not be understood by other passengers in the event of an emergency, then the F/A's action to remove them might have been required by Federal regulation:

"No certificate holder may seat a person in a seat affected by this section if the certificate holder determines that it is likely that the person would be unable to perform one or more of the applicable functions listed in paragraph (d) of this section because -

. . . .

The person lacks the ability adequately to impart information orally to other passengers."

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/121.585
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 10:29 am
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Thank you to the flight attendants for attention to detail and thinking ahead to put the safety of all on board before anything else. 10 seconds of confusion could result in the life or death of a passenger.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by Jimval26
Thank you to the flight attendants for attention to detail and thinking ahead to put the safety of all on board before anything else. 10 seconds of confusion could result in the life or death of a passenger.
Please.

In reality the airlines treats this as an upgraded seat. The reality is on many flights there are people seated there who should not be sitting there who are probably more unqualified than my parents. I sure hope you point this out whenever you notice it to the FA and ask to be de-boarded if no action is taken since you feel this way about it.

While Im aware of the more brazen attitudes towards immigrants in this country the more details Ive learned about the incident the more likely Im going to file an incident report about racism.

My brother and his wife were in the row behind the exit row. The FA would not let them swap with my parents in the exit row either. They are both native English speakers.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter
Please.

In reality the airlines treats this as an upgraded seat. The reality is on many flights there are people seated there who should not be sitting there who are probably more unqualified than my parents. I sure hope you point this out whenever you notice it to the FA and ask to be de-boarded if no action is taken since you feel this way about it.

While Im aware of the more brazen attitudes towards immigrants in this country the more details Ive learned about the incident the more likely Im going to file an incident report about racism.

My brother and his wife were in the row behind the exit row. The FA would not let them swap with my parents in the exit row either. They are both native English speakers.
Yes it certainly is an upgraded seat. I have no idea what that has to do with this issue. It also doesn't matter how long your parents have lived in America. It is a seat that has responsibilities attached to it. Which is what this topic is about. Not about seniority in this country. I love when people use examples of things done wrong so they can do the wrong thing too. You know how many times a day I get this? And I work in the aviation industry. I abruptly tell them sorry. Providing examples of someone not following the rules doesn't allow YOU to not follow the rules. So using your logic, someone somewhere is sitting in an exit row seat that shouldn't be. So that means the exit row rules no longer apply anywhere. UFB. Clearly you want to be able to do whatever you want wherever you want. Thank you again to the Jetblue flight attendant for doing his/her job and doing it well. Good luck with your complaint!
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by Jimval26
Yes it certainly is an upgraded seat. I have no idea what that has to do with this issue. It also doesn't matter how long your parents have lived in America. It is a seat that has responsibilities attached to it. Which is what this topic is about. Not about seniority in this country. I love when people use examples of things done wrong so they can do the wrong thing too. You know how many times a day I get this? And I work in the aviation industry. I abruptly tell them sorry. Providing examples of someone not following the rules doesn't allow YOU to not follow the rules. So using your logic, someone somewhere is sitting in an exit row seat that shouldn't be. So that means the exit row rules no longer apply anywhere. UFB. Clearly you want to be able to do whatever you want wherever you want. Thank you again to the Jetblue flight attendant for doing his/her job and doing it well. Good luck with your complaint!
They weren't removed for being seniors. If that was the case I would not raise a stink. They were removed for the language accent issue which is still subjective. Based on that alone still I would not file a complaint. They were directed to a row in the back and not allowed to switch with my able bodied brother and his wife who were seated nearby to the exit row.

Another FA apologized in-flight because they realized how wrongly the situation was handled.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 1:18 pm
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OP: We're the exit-row seats that had been occupied by your parents reassigned to any other passengers on the flight?
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
OP: We're the exit-row seats that had been occupied by your parents reassigned to any other passengers on the flight?
yes, the people in the last row of the plane where my parents were moved were moved up into exit row.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976

The person lacks the ability adequately to impart information orally to other passengers."

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/121.585
Interesting. It indicates this "impart information orally to other passengers" requirement, but I didn't read anything that said what they were supposed to "impart". Is this person somehow deputized and required to give instructions to others? I always assumed I would have to open the exit, make sure that some exit path was clear, then I should get on the ground and get out of the way except for possibly helping people off the slide.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter
yes, the people in the last row of the plane where my parents were moved were moved up into exit row.
If the "Even More Space" section of the plane was full, it's possible that those people in the last row were frequent-flyer elites who would otherwise have been entitled to be upgraded to the better seats. (It's also possible that they were JetBlue employees traveling as non-revs.)
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by xooz
Interesting. It indicates this "impart information orally to other passengers" requirement, but I didn't read anything that said what they were supposed to "impart". Is this person somehow deputized and required to give instructions to others? I always assumed I would have to open the exit, make sure that some exit path was clear, then I should get on the ground and get out of the way except for possibly helping people off the slide.
I'm thinking that if there were a fire or obstruction on that side of the aircraft, exit-row passengers would be expected to communicate that to other passengers and direct them to use other exits.
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Old Feb 18, 2022, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
If the "Even More Space" section of the plane was full, it's possible that those people in the last row were frequent-flyer elites who would otherwise have been entitled to be upgraded to the better seats. (It's also possible that they were JetBlue employees traveling as non-revs.)
Yes, its possible. How likely is that though?

Just based on how things went down and the tone of the conversation its more likely to me the FA was essentially on a little power trip and did it to punish them (for lack of a better phrase). The FA did not check a device or seat map prior to moving them.
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