Seating Of Disabled Airline Passengers

  Pine Man 13:25 06 Jun 15
Locked

My wife and I have just returned from a holiday abroad and encountered something that we hadn't in the past.

We were on a Boeing 737 with three seats either side of a central aisle. We had pre-booked our seats and had the window seat and centre seat. When we boarded the aircraft we found a large, very elderly, disabled lady sitting in the aisle seat. She was unable to get out of her seat without help and it took some time for us to be seated.

When the aircraft prepared for take off she was unable to do up her seat belt without help and after the pre-flight announcement mentioning life belts under the seat she said words to the effect 'I'd never be able to reach that, never mind putting it on. I'd just panic'. My wife and I were quite concerned about what would actually happen in the case of an emergency evacuation.

This post isn't a slight against disabled people. I have done some research since returning from holiday and the position is not at all clear with different airlines having different policies. Some sit the disabled in aisle seats and a few insist on them having window seats. I know that there are a number of disabled members of the forum and wondered what their views were as well as those of the able bodied being, possibly, 'trapped' in their seats.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:16 06 Jun 15

You would have thought the airlines would sit the disabled next to the stewards station area to make life easier for all concerned.

  Pine Man 15:35 06 Jun 15

Something I have just read suggests that the cabin crew should be capable of evacuating all of the passengers within 90 seconds. The disabled lady next to me and my wife took almost as long trying to work out how to release the seat belt! I also read of one disabled man who said to the passengers next to him, 'I'm dead from the waist down. Feel free to trample all over me if necessary'!

Once again I must emphasise that this is not a pop at the disabled. Merely my observations and, I am bound to say, concerns for both able and disabled passengers.

  bumpkin 15:40 06 Jun 15

Seat them by the exit doors would seem logical to me, more room and the crew know where they are.

  wee eddie 16:54 06 Jun 15

There are so many different forms of disability that there is little possibility of a single solution.

Having said that, most of the Safety Drills are just window dressing as survival from most crashes is not a high probability.

  bumpkin 17:44 06 Jun 15

spider, surely the crew have to open them not just anybody.

  bumpkin 18:08 06 Jun 15

Just asked my wife who was a stewardess many years back. Probably a bit more computerised these days I expect but my explanation was "disabled near the exit doors, all doors only to be closed or opened by cabin crew and captain informed that they are secure before take off, in the event of it crashing and all cabin crew being killed it is physicaly possible for the doors to be opened by any survivors but not easily"

  bumpkin 18:08 06 Jun 15

Just asked my wife who was a stewardess many years back. Probably a bit more computerised these days I expect but my explanation was "disabled near the exit doors, all doors only to be closed or opened by cabin crew and captain informed that they are secure before take off, in the event of it crashing and all cabin crew being killed it is physicaly possible for the doors to be opened by any survivors but not easily"

  bumpkin 18:09 06 Jun 15

Double post again, not my doing

  bumpkin 18:09 06 Jun 15

Double post again, not my doing

  bumpkin 18:15 06 Jun 15

I thing I am double clicking on the post button, still used to the old format where you could click until the cows came home before anything got posted. Site is greatly improved now.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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