Exit Row: Every Man For Himself!

So let me see if I understand this – in case of emergency I’m supposed to rely on average Joe to unlatch the door and help me?

You know for all the precautions that an airline takes before, during, and after a flight you’d think that there may be more guidelines to manning the emergency exit. The thing about the emergency exit / emergency row is that people don’t look at it as a chance to be put in a very fucked up situation; they look at it as a chance to get more legroom.

Here’s the thing: If I’m going to have to take off 40 percent of my clothing before getting x-rayed, pay extra to board a flight early, pay extra for luggage, and occasionally pay extra to sit closer to the front of the plane… then I want more assurance at the emergency exits.

This is what I propose:

Instead of having Joe the hungover college guy and Ted the 13 year old who barely meets the exit row age requirement sit at the exit row, how about airlines offer some incentives? Such as: If people take online courses that they pay 100 dollars for say… a week or a total number of hours then they automatically can fly free in the exit row - if it’s open - If it’s not open then they buy a full priced ticket.

What this will do is A) make some money for the airlines because tons of people would think they’d win the golden ticket and get a free flight that would otherwise cost 400 dollars. Yes, some lucky people would fly free in the exit row. B) Give some sort of reassurance to people that “Hey, the guy at the exit door may actually know how to open that door in case of an emergency.”

Proposing online courses for exiting exit rows sounds stupid you say? Yeah, I kind of think they’re stupid too but our system in America has online courses for college and driving classes… so it’s not that far fetched.

Let’s be honest – Nobody really thinks we’d ever need to use the exit row. I have this feeling that in the back of everyone’s mind is when or if there were some emergency that required the emergency exit then it’s every man for himself. The exit row is a glaring area where everyone turns the check on “worrying” about it. Nobody ever really thinks we’d need it.

Another idea is to put certifiably trained people in the seats that have a history of being cool under extreme situations. Will this be a waste for passengers flying from one place to another? Sure, they’d take up the seats. But come on – the airlines waste so much manpower on bullshit already. Today at the airport I saw a guy toss a lighter into the trash and make a joke about it -“Whoops!”

For the record, if there is no change then I’m okay with the way it is, but lets acknowledge that the announcements in the beginning and asking people if they’re okay to sit in the exit row means nothing. Fortunately I feel confident that I could wrestle my way to the emergency exit before anyone else…

Every man for himself, right?