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mini-rant: Immovable armrests in exit rows

mini-rant: Immovable armrests in exit rows

Old Dec 12, 2006, 11:04 pm
  #1  
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mini-rant: Immovable armrests in exit rows

I recently flew in the overwing exit rows on LAN from LAX-SCL. I felt like I was in J. The trays were in the seat in front, so none of the annoyingly narrow, uncomfortable tray tables in the armrest. There was significant pitch, and the tray still worked just fine.

I often find that the armrest tray tables don't work for me on DL because I am tall and my knees stick up higher than the top of the armrest. In addition, there was extra pitch given for the first overwing exit (in front of the second exit row) so that it could recline without blocking the exit behind.

My question is this: Why do some airlines such as DL feel the need to put the tray tables in the armrest in the exit rows when they can easily put trays in the seatback in front?

To DL folks or anybody lucky enough to attend one of these luncheons, please stop this nonsense and put the trays in the seatbacks where they belong!
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by spgaston
My question is this: Why do some airlines such as DL feel the need to put the tray tables in the armrest in the exit rows when they can easily put trays in the seatback in front?
Perhaps a FAA mandate? If a tray table built into the seatback is down, that may be an impediment to easy access to the exits.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 5:15 am
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Some DL planes (MD-88s come to mind) have the trays in the seatbacks on exit rows. The trays have to have an extra extension in their arms to reach the seat. That kind of arrangement is slightly less stable.

If you are a "big guy", the fixed armrest may be constricting, but if you are sitting next to a big guy, the fixed armrest will guarantee that they won't encroach on your space.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 7:00 am
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Having spent a lot of time in exit rows, I've become sort of a student of exit row configurations. Some are less comfortable than others.

Best (in my recent experience, anyway): Airbus A319--plenty of legroom and a seatback tray in front of you. Seats seem a little wider than usual.

Good: DC-9/certain MD-8x's: similar to above, although seats seem a little narrower--also, I'm usually on NW when I'm on a DC-9, and the planes, and perhaps the seats, are ancient.

Certain 757 exit rows (the bulkhead rows) are also in this category--they have the narrower seats with the built-in trays in the armrests, but the vast legroom makes up for it to an extent.

Bad: I've sat in some 737 exit rows (can't recall the carrier, UA I think?) where the seat had both the seatback tray and the armrest tray, meaning the seat was narrower for no apparent reason. Not a comfortable experience, but then I'm not a skinny guy.

On most regional jets, the exit row is not really worth it and I just pass it up in favor of a seat nearer the front where I can get the whole RJ experience over with that much sooner.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by keeton
if you are sitting next to a big guy, the fixed armrest will guarantee that they won't encroach on your space.
You're so right----these seats can be a godsend, especially on a red-eye when you want to get some sleep. For smaller people, these seats are actually ideal!
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 11:35 am
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by BNA_flyer
<SNIP> Best (in my recent experience, anyway): Airbus A319--plenty of legroom and a seatback tray in front of you. Seats seem a little wider than usual.
And that little *secret* latch to keep the seats in front from reclining.

The FAs are supposed to lock them prior to takeoff/landing.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 1:32 pm
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CO tray tables in the exit rows are on the seat backs....so it's not an FAA mandate.

- HF
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 4:59 pm
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