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What are the Benefits of Exit-Row Seats?

Jonathan Chum
Jonathan Chum

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You have probably heard this before. “If you are seated in an exit row and do not want to be there, let us know so we can move you now.” On the other hand, a lot of people like to sit in exit row seating. If you are interested in exit row seats, you need to know what these are, what your responsibilities are, and why people may like to sit in them. 

So, what are exit row seats? Exit row seats are seats that are located near emergency exits on the airplane. They are usually used to quickly disembark the plan in the event of an emergency. As we have flown all over the world, we have sat an exit row seats several times. We are going to cover:

  • What exit row seats are 
  • What your responsibilities might be if you sit in them 
  • Why some people like sitting in an exit row seat 

Learn more about exit row seats on airplanes below! 

What Are Exit-Row Seats?

When you board an airplane, you probably board at the front. In some cases, particularly large international flights may also have people board at the rear of the plane. Think about how long it takes for people to board an airplane. Clearly, this is a process that is going to encounter significant difficulties in the event of an emergency. That is why all airplanes also have exit row seats on them.

In the vast majority of cases, airplanes only have one or two rows of additional exit row seats. Usually, these are situated in the middle of the airplane right next to the wings. If the airplane is large, such as a 747, there may be additional exit seats or emergency seats as well. As you walk down the aisle to get to your seat, you will see several rows of seats that are marked with large red letters such as “exit” or “emergency.” That is how you know you are walking by an exit row seat. If you sit in one of these seats, you may be required to assist the crew in the event of an emergency. 

What Do You Have To Do in an Exit Row Seat?

If you are sitting in an exit row seat, the answer is that you’ll probably have to do nothing. On the other hand, you do have to be physically able and willing to assist the crew if an emergency happens during the flight. As a result, people who are elderly, children, and individuals who have physical disabilities may not be able to sit in an exit row seat. If they end up getting seated in one of these seats, they will probably be asked to switch with someone else on the plane.

For example, you may be asked to help members of the crew remove the emergency latch and open the door, allowing people to escape the plane in the event of an emergency. Or, you may be asked to help the crew inflate a life raft in the event of a water landing. They are also emergency situations where you might be asked to supervise people as they exit the plane, should an emergency take place. Again, if you sit in an exit row, you probably will not have to do anything because the flight is going to finish without any issues. On the other hand, in the event of an emergency, you will be asked to assist the crew, making sure that people get off the plane safely. 

Why Do People Like Sitting in an Exit-Row Seat?

It may sound stressful to help the crew in the event of an emergency. Keep in mind that emergencies during a flight are incredibly rare. Therefore, even if you sit in an exit row on every flight, the chances of you actually having to do anything are slim to none. On the other hand, there are a few benefits that come with sitting in an exit row seat.

The biggest benefit of sitting in an exit row is that you should have access to larger seats and more legroom. If you are someone who is bigger, you may get tired of getting cramped in a traditional economy seat. If you sit in an exit row, you should be able to spread out more easily.  

In some situations, you may also have access to guaranteed overhead bin space. If you have experienced the frustration of running out of overhead bin space, only to be forced to check your bag at the gate, you may want to sit in an exit row. As a result, you might have access to overhead bin space that is guaranteed to be yours. 

Even though this is unusual, there are some situations where people who sit in an exit row may get access to better snacks or drinks. If you care about the food and beverage service, this may be something you want to think about. 

Think Carefully About Where You Sit on a Plane

As you are getting ready to book your seat, think carefully about where your seat is located. If you are going through the check-in process online, you should be able to clearly see if you are selecting an exit row. In some situations, airlines know that there are some people who want to sit in that specific location. As a result, they may even charge you more money to sit in that seat. 

Exit row seats are seats that are located near emergency exits. If you sit in one of these seats, you may be asked to assist the crew in the event of an emergency. Keep in mind that flying emergencies are incredibly rare. Therefore, if you sit in one of these exit row seats, you probably will not be asked to do anything at all. On the other hand, exit row seats usually come in more legroom, allowing you to spread out during the flight.


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