Hand Baggage and Exit Rows

Old Dec 4, 10, 10:33 am
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Hand Baggage and Exit Rows

I recently took a Southwest flight after a 6 year hiatus and ended up in the row directly behind the over wing exit. The passengers in the exit rows were allowed to keep their carry on luggage stored on the floor underneath the seat in front of them - the FA did an exit row briefing with these passengers, and noted the items on the floor and just said they had to be tucked in tight. Is this normal?

I cannot recall any other carrier allowing ANYTHING on the floor in these rows and was quite surprised by this.
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Old Dec 4, 10, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by studio76 View Post
....The passengers in the exit rows were allowed to keep their carry on luggage stored on the floor underneath the seat in front of them.....the items on the floor and just said they had to be tucked in tight. Is this normal?
Yes, it is normal to have stuff under 10C.

Not sure if you're referring to carry ons on the floor directly in front of the exit row occupants? That would be abnormal/irregular.
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Old Dec 4, 10, 4:07 pm
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Nothing unusual at all. In fact, FAs instruct you to put your stuff there if you're in an exit row.
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Old Dec 5, 10, 2:33 pm
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What airline have you flown where this is an issue?
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Old Dec 5, 10, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by studio76 View Post
I recently took a Southwest flight after a 6 year hiatus and ended up in the row directly behind the over wing exit. The passengers in the exit rows were allowed to keep their carry on luggage stored on the floor underneath the seat in front of them - the FA did an exit row briefing with these passengers, and noted the items on the floor and just said they had to be tucked in tight. Is this normal?

I cannot recall any other carrier allowing ANYTHING on the floor in these rows and was quite surprised by this.
"These rows" is not specific enough.

Where no airline allows you to put bags in front of you is a bulkhead row. Well, on some airplanes (like AA's 777), the exit rows (31A/B/E/F) are bulkheads. (Though the bulkhead is mighty far away, on the other side of wing, the point is there is no row of seats in front of you.) But it's the bulkhead, not the exit row factor, that precludes underseat storage.

Same thing can happen in row 9 (and the window seats of row 10) of AA's 757s.

But on 737s (which all that Southwest flies), whether Southwest or AA or anyone else I've seen, the only exit rows are over the wing, and do have normal rows in front of them (just at greater spacing, at least for some seats in the row). You can thus use that stroage.

The one extra condition in an exit row is that the hand baggage must fit "completely" under the seat in front of you (so that people exiting in an emergency cannot trip on it). Thus FAs may be more strict about baggage that "sticks out" a bit in an exit row than in other rows.

You have to look up airplanes by airline and type on www.seatguru.com to find out what the underseat storage is for special rows. It explains that AA's 777 row 31 has no underseat storage, but doesn't have such a note for Southwest's 737s.
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Old Dec 5, 10, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Where no airline allows you to put bags in front of you is a bulkhead row. Well, on some airplanes (like AA's 777), the exit rows (31A/B/E/F) are bulkheads.
CO's 737-900ECs have room under the bulkhead for small personal bags. Just minor trivia. Of course, none of WN's planes have room under the bulkheads.
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Old Dec 6, 10, 4:03 pm
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On the floor at their feet or under the seat in front of them?

No one is allowed to have items at your feet for take off or landing. Should there be a need to exit quickly no one should have to climb over "stuff". If the FA was asking them to "tuck them in tight" I'm assuming she was referring to under the seat in front of them.

If you could not see the location of the item(s) she was referring to, maybe you just assumed they were at the passengers feet when they were not.
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Old Dec 7, 10, 11:35 am
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What stinks is bulkhead pax who think they own the space under THEIR seat, which is a concept that cannot be passed backwards though the entire cabin. Being FT, it's probably been discussed ten times before - just not while I've been here.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 7:55 am
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It is common on non US carriers for passengers in the exit row to not be able to store their carryon (hand luggage) under the seat in front of them. It is believed to be a hazard if an evacuation is necessary. Most US carriers allow passengers to store their carryons under the seat in front of them in the exit row.

Slightly off topic - on a recent SW flight, my husband and I scored exit row seats. As it is "his job" to store the carryons, I left my rollerboard in the aisle for him to put in the overhead bins. He stored both of our rollerboards and sat down with me. The flight attendant in that section of the plane, requested that I get up and remove the rollerboard from the overhead and restore it myself. I believe the thought process being that if I could not lift my own carryon overhead, then I could not operate the exit door in an emergency. I was happy to comply and did so.
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Old Dec 10, 10, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by LMB01 View Post
It is common on non US carriers for passengers in the exit row to not be able to store their carryon (hand luggage) under the seat in front of them. It is believed to be a hazard if an evacuation is necessary. Most US carriers allow passengers to store their carryons under the seat in front of them in the exit row.

Slightly off topic - on a recent SW flight, my husband and I scored exit row seats. As it is "his job" to store the carryons, I left my rollerboard in the aisle for him to put in the overhead bins. He stored both of our rollerboards and sat down with me. The flight attendant in that section of the plane, requested that I get up and remove the rollerboard from the overhead and restore it myself. I believe the thought process being that if I could not lift my own carryon overhead, then I could not operate the exit door in an emergency. I was happy to comply and did so.



Glad you did because it does make sense.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 11:25 am
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Just came off a WN flight and witnessed a pretty rude behavior by one of their flight attendants. A girl about 5 feet 2 inches was putting her bag in the overhead. A gentleman saw her and started to help her. A male flight attendant came up and scolded him. "If she is going to sit in the exit row seat, she needs to be able do it herself". And he just stood there and watched. The lady, visibly upset says screw it, and sat one row behind the exit row.

I'm aware of the physical requirements of sitting in an exit row, but did the FA had to be so rude about it? I didn't know that lifting a bag over your head was a physical requirement for sitting in an exit row.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by fishy21 View Post
Just came off a WN flight and witnessed a pretty rude behavior by one of their flight attendants. A girl about 5 feet 2 inches was putting her bag in the overhead. A gentleman saw her and started to help her. A male flight attendant came up and scolded him. "If she is going to sit in the exit row seat, she needs to be able do it herself". And he just stood there and watched. The lady, visibly upset says screw it, and sat one row behind the exit row.

I'm aware of the physical requirements of sitting in an exit row, but did the FA had to be so rude about it? I didn't know that lifting a bag over your head was a physical requirement for sitting in an exit row.
No. That's not being rude.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by SDCA View Post
No. That's not being rude.
The FAA requirements are that the person sitting in an exit row be over the age of 15, speak and understand English, and be able and willing to help with the evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency, including being able to operate and lift the ~50lb door if instructed to do so by a crew member.

That is not the same as being short and not being able to lift an overhead bag into a bin. Not even close. The FA was incorrect in his statement, IMO.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by studio76 View Post
I recently took a Southwest flight after a 6 year hiatus and ended up in the row directly behind the over wing exit. The passengers in the exit rows were allowed to keep their carry on luggage stored on the floor underneath the seat in front of them - the FA did an exit row briefing with these passengers, and noted the items on the floor and just said they had to be tucked in tight. Is this normal?

I cannot recall any other carrier allowing ANYTHING on the floor in these rows and was quite surprised by this.
I've sat in exit rows on all major US airlines and have always used the space under the seat in front of me for my computer bag/backpack. I've heard FAs telling passengers that their bag had to fit completely under the seat in front, but never that no storage was allowed there. A previous posted mentioned that rules in some places outside the US might be different, that might be the case where you typically fly.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 10:17 pm
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Did no one else notice that the OP is from London (per the Profile at the left of their post)?

Yes, it works one way in for US-based airlines (and maybe some other countries), but the opposite way on many airlines based in other countries.

I have flown BA (within Europe) while seated in an exit row once or twice, but I can't remember the policy, in part because there was no lack of overhead space, so I can't remember if I even tried to put anything in front of the exit row seat.

I do know that I was "scolded" (by everyone around!) for thinking I could put something under the exit row seat when I flew LAN on an intra-Argentina flight in the exit row. They've never heard of such a thing down there.
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