Emergency exit seats: who is allowed to stay here?

In all our articles we tell you about the main role of a flight attendant: the safety of passengers. Although lots of people still believe that cabin crew are only serving the passengers with food and drinks, it’s important to acknowledge that cabin crew are there in the airplane doing their tasks only after they went through an intensive training and passed a series of exams.

A flight attendant is the one that can save your life in an emergency situation. During the training, future cabin crew learn how to successfully pass emergency cases, how to give first aid, how to use a defibrillator, how to successfully communicate with all kinds of people and what are the survival methods on the sea or in the desert (in case of an emergency landing). Therefore, working in this industry comes with lots of responsibilities that must be known and respected.

Cabin crew are vigilant from the moment of boarding. They have to “scan” with their eyes the luggage and the passengers to identify everything that may seem suspicious and could endanger the safety of the flight. They are also identifying ABP (Able Body Passengers), meaning passengers that, in case of emergency, could help the crew evacuate the cabin.

In the cabin, the emergency exits are placed above the wings, in the row of extra legroom seats. That area is the favourite of many passengers but unfortunately, not everyone can travel on those seats. Those who are being seated there must meet the companies’ requirements.


Requirements to travel on the extra legroom seats:

  • passengers must have 18 years old
  • to be healthy, without medical issues
  • to agree to help the crew in case of emergency
  • to understand the safety procedures presented by the crew during the safety demo
  • to be able to open the emergency exit in case of necessity or if a flight attendant is not able to do so
  • to know and understand English because all the emergency procedures are comnunicated in English, the international language of aviation


Who CAN’T travel on these seats?

  • unaccompanied minors
  • children and people under 18
  • pregnant women
  • mothers travelling with infants
  • obese passengers
  • passengers with special needs (people with hearing, eyes, talking problems, people with reduced mobility due to accidents, people with permanently reduced mobility)
  • elderly people


Therefore, people who can meet the requirements have priority on those seats. Furthermore, the emergency exits do not have to be blocked by any item in the moment of take-off/landing and on the entire flight. Luggage is not allowed near the exit doors.

If you will travel on these seats, you have to know that the backs of the seats are not adjustable, in order to not block the passengers to exit the area. The same rule applies to the row in front of the emergency exit row.

If onboard there are people who work or have worked in aviation, people working in the military, police or firefighters, they will have priority on taking those seats because they know how to evacuate fast the cabin.

Cabin crew must follow all the procedures to verify the ABP on each flight. The life of the entire cabin is in the hands of the crew and the people seating near the emergency exit.

We wish you clear skies and safe flights!

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