Exit Row Seating

Federal regulations require passengers to meet certain criteria in order to occupy an exit seat. In an emergency where a crew member is unavailable to assist, passengers may be called upon to perform the functions listed below. Passengers that do not meet the criteria listed, have a condition that is not apparent that could prevent them from performing the functions, may suffer bodily harm as a result of performing the required functions, or do not wish to do so, should not sit in an exit seat.

Exit Seat Criteria

Passengers occupying exit seats must:

  1. Be 15 years of age or older.
  2. Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative.
  3. Have the ability to read and understand printed or graphic instructions related to emergency evacuation.
  4. Have the ability to understand oral crew commands.
  5. Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or eyeglasses.
  6. Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions shouted by crewmembers without assistance beyond hearing aid.
  7. Have the ability to adequately impart information orally to other passengers.
  8. Have sufficient mobility, strength or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to:
    1. Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of emergency exit.
    2. Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms.
    3. Push, shove, pull, or otherwise open emergency exits.
    4. Lift out, hold remove and maneuver objects the size and weight of overwing exit door.
    5. Remove obstructions similar in size and weight to over-wing exit doors;
    6. Reach the emergency exit expeditiously;
    7. Maintain balance while removing obstructions;
    8. Exit expeditiously;

Exit Seat Functions

A passenger occupying an exit row seat must be capable of performing the following functions:

  1. Locate the emergency exit;
  2. Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism;
  3. Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit;
  4. Operate the emergency exit;
  5. Assess whether opening the emergency exit will increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed;
  6. Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a crewmember;
  7. Stow or secure the emergency exit door so that it will not impede use of the exit;
  8. Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit.
  9. Assess, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit;

Additional Exit Seat Restrictions

  • Passengers operating portable oxygen concentrators are not permitted to occupy exit seats.
  • Child Restraint Seats are not permitted to be placed in exit seats, or in seats directly in front of or behind exit seats.
  • Passengers traveling with emotional support animals, service animals, or cabin pets are not permitted in an exit seat.
  • Passengers using a wheelchair or other assistive device must not sit in an exit seat.
  • A passenger who requires the use of more than one seatbelt extender must not sit in an exit seat.