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Unbelievable - family forced to sit in the aeroplane floor

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Unbelievable - family forced to sit in the aeroplane floor

Old 15th Jan 2019, 09:26
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I am wondering how many commentators in this thread have actually read the linked articles.

As I understand it, the parents were put in jump seats and the 10 year child in the only remaining regular seat, i.e. next to complete strangers. In flight, the parents blocked the galley and therefore moved (or were moved) to empty floorspace in the back of the cabin. They were joined there by their 10 year old who apparently got bored / frightened / whatever sitting alone in her seat. I don't see how anyone can reasonably put any blame on the passengers.

Now, what I find really interesting is that in these days or sardine-style air travel with seats crammed into every corner of an airplane with as little seat pitch as possible, why would an aircraft have sufficient floorspace that a family of three can have a relaxed sit-in as per the pictures? It has been suggested that a row of three seats was taken out. Is it a common occurence that seats taken out are not replaced at the same time? Why wouldn't you simply leave the seats where they are and make them inop until they can be replaced in one go?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 10:05
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Originally Posted by virginblue
I am wondering how many commentators in this thread have actually read the linked articles.

As I understand it, the parents were put in jump seats and the 10 year child in the only remaining regular seat, i.e. next to complete strangers. In flight, the parents blocked the galley and therefore moved (or were moved) to empty floorspace in the back of the cabin. They were joined there by their 10 year old who apparently got bored / frightened / whatever sitting alone in her seat. I don't see how anyone can reasonably put any blame on the passengers.

Now, what I find really interesting is that in these days or sardine-style air travel with seats crammed into every corner of an airplane with as little seat pitch as possible, why would an aircraft have sufficient floorspace that a family of three can have a relaxed sit-in as per the pictures? It has been suggested that a row of three seats was taken out. Is it a common occurence that seats taken out are not replaced at the same time? Why wouldn't you simply leave the seats where they are and make them inop until they can be replaced in one go?
There are plenty of reasons why you might get a situation like this. First off, the seats that had been in that position may have had to be removed to be refurbed. Not all parts on some seats are Line Replaceable. There may not have been a spare, certified triple available to be put in its place, hence the gap. Running them through the workshop can take as little as 24 hrs and that is a much better tactical decision than leaving a row of seats inop until the aircraft is next in the hangar. Ops should be well aware of the restriction though and if that wasn't updated, then a mistake has been made.

Next, with older aircraft and modern seats that are much thinner and allow more space per passenger, then the configuration can sometimes be a little odd. When you change seats out, you will rarely move the monuments in the cabin such as crew seats, galleys, toilets etc because of the cost, so you have to try and fit a new kit of parts into a space designed for something else. Usually modern, thinner seats make that job a bit easier, but sometimes, you can find yourself hitting the max passenger numbers with a bit of space to spare in certain areas. Not all usually unless you are in something like a 73 or A320 with single cabins, but in aircraft with proper overwing exits like the A321 and upwards, then you can hit issues and end up with odd looking configurations.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 11:13
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Originally Posted by Say again s l o w l y
There are plenty of reasons why you might get a situation like this. First off, the seats that had been in that position may have had to be removed to be refurbed. Not all parts on some seats are Line Replaceable. There may not have been a spare, certified triple available to be put in its place, hence the gap. Running them through the workshop can take as little as 24 hrs and that is a much better tactical decision than leaving a row of seats inop until the aircraft is next in the hangar. Ops should be well aware of the restriction though and if that wasn't updated, then a mistake has been made.
The last statement is almost certainly true, given that the flight in question was a return leg MAH-BHX, so the aircraft would almost certainly have flown outbound with those seats missing as well (presumably not full).

TUI would do well to take any punishment (albeit unlikely) on the chin and treat it as a lesson in PPPPP.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 12:42
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What would happen to a crew that denies boarding to passengers without a seat?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 13:09
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Originally Posted by Less Hair
What would happen to a crew that denies boarding to passengers without a seat?
A crew would have no alternative but to offload passengers who had no seat available. It is the law.

Do you mean what would have happened to the crew, if they had offloaded two/three passengers in this particular incident?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 13:20
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Yes. As they were checked in for specific seat numbers that were not available. Wouldn't the crew be out of any trouble if they simply had denied boarding to them?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:15
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A few facts to throw into the mix.

The aircraft was a B757-200, and all of TUI Airways' fleet are a Y221 configuration. The 'last-minute aircraft change' quoted was irrelevant in many ways.

This particular aircraft had the row of seats temporarily missing due to a defect, and anyone with any knowledge of AOG spares will be aware that a row of seats for a B757 are not easy to come by these days - they simply aren't available on a shelf, and not quick to produce.

Where 221 pax were booked onto previous and following flights, they were refused at check-in (due to the operator hoping for noshows to avoid a denied boarding situation) and offered alternative flights home with ground transport where required. Unfortunately, on this occasion, this was missed.

Despite the crew seats in the galley not being available, there are crew jump seats in the centre of the aircraft on a B757. The parents could have easily sat here for the duration of the flight if they wanted to, there was no-one forcing them to sit on the floor. But that doesn't look quite as good on TV, does it?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:21
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Originally Posted by Firefighter
The parents could have easily sat here for the duration of the flight if they wanted to
Presumably you mean that the parents could have sat in the midships jump seats had they been requested, directed or advised by the crew to do so.

Are you suggesting that they were?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:23
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Originally Posted by Firefighter
Despite the crew seats in the galley not being available, there are crew jump seats in the centre of the aircraft on a B757. The parents could have easily sat here for the duration of the flight if they wanted to, there was no-one forcing them to sit on the floor. But that doesn't look quite as good on TV, does it?
So, do you believe that the family were instructed to sit in the centre jump seats, decided not to and were allowed to sit on the floor, at the rear of the aircraft? Or do you believe that passengers should be intimately aware of the configuration of airliners and which crew seats they are allowed to occupy?

Unbelievable. The only party in the wrong was the airline, for not knowing how many seats v pax were available and boarding 2 more bums than pax seats. The situation should have been resolved in line with EC261/2004 denied boarding rules, at check in, which would have involved asking for volunteers before involuntary action and then getting them home on another flight.

Edited to add that Dave Reid UK beat me to it.

Last edited by Final 3 Greens; 15th Jan 2019 at 14:27. Reason: To acknowledge another poster.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:41
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Are you suggesting that they were?
I'm suggesting that it would've been a preferable option to sitting on a floor.

TUI operate with 5 cabin crew on a flight of this type, seated at 1L, 2L, 2R, 3R and 4L. That leaves spare crew seats at 3L & 4R - which is presumably where the parents would've sat during take-off & landing, so only the 1 parent would've been 'in the way' in the aft galley during a bar service. So the other parent was already seated in one of the mid-cabin jump seats, and clearly aware that there were 2 seats located there.

Depending where the child was sat (there is a spare seat in 41C in the photo), the parents may have elected to sit at the back of the aircraft where the seats were missing (41DEF) next to their child, who then sat on the floor with them, since this way they were 'out of the way' - rather than 2 of them sitting in the mid-cabin jump seats and one of the parents sitting on the floor in plain view of all passengers, or standing the whole flight with everyone looking at them....
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:43
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Originally Posted by Final 3 Greens
Unbelievable. The only party in the wrong was the airline, for not knowing how many seats v pax were available and boarding 2 more bums than pax seats. The situation should have been resolved in line with EC261/2004 denied boarding rules, at check in, which would have involved asking for volunteers before involuntary action and then getting them home on another flight.
You, erm, failed to acknowledge the entire paragraph where I referenced that this would've (and was) the correct course of action, but unfortunately missed on this occasion.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:57
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The aircraft was a B757-200, and all of TUI Airways' fleet are a Y221 configuration.
I am not sure that is 100% true. G-BYAW & G-BYAY are shown as having 223 seats, while G-CPEV is listed as 225 seats. (all "Y").
I agree with you re the irrelevance of the change of aircraft. That must have been known 4 or 5 hours prior to the departure from Mahon so can't have been a surprise to the airline.
Anyway, it seems TUI have fully accepted responsibility as they have paid the family a full £1,300 refund for the entire cost of their flights.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:03
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Originally Posted by roundwego
For F*cks sake all you PC objectors, get a life and grow some balls. The crew used their initiative and got the pax home safely and legally. The sad thing is that the SLF which in this case didn’t have the intelligence or intellect to appreciate the effort that was afforded to them to get them home then took advantage of the situation by going “public” to the media.

If I was TUI senior management I would be congratulating the crew, standing up to the media and, while accepting that the CAA might have to ask some questions, tell them to get back in their box in the politest of ways.
gets my vote, Too many posters here trying to find all sorts of reasons to hang the crew/operator. Many times i have had to position in a jump seat and i had a business class standby seat. So you have to move a little to let the crew get on with their job, so what! Usually only for a few minutes anyway. Also had many family members / companions in jump seats over the years (38 of them). Just a shame we are not allowed to use the flight deck seats anymore. Another PC correctness gone mad. There are many aircraft with bars and lots of pax standing. Storm in a teacup!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:04
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Originally Posted by KelvinD
I am not sure that is 100% true. G-BYAW & G-BYAY are shown as having 223 seats, while G-CPEV is listed as 225 seats. (all "Y").
Technically correct in terms of seats fitted, but TUI only sell to Y221 for all their B757 flights to avoid overbooking situations like this occurring when having to swap aircraft. Same as all their B737 fleet being Y189.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:21
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Originally Posted by Firefighter
You, erm, failed to acknowledge the entire paragraph where I referenced that this would've (and was) the correct course of action, but unfortunately missed on this occasion.
Okay, let me be more precise, the part I object to is this

Despite the crew seats in the galley not being available, there are crew jump seats in the centre of the aircraft on a B757. The parents could have easily sat here for the duration of the flight if they wanted to, there was no-one forcing them to sit on the floor. But that doesn't look quite as good on TV, does it?
That is a disgraceful slur on the passengers, they were innocent victims of airline incompetence.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:23
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Angry

Originally Posted by James7

gets my vote, Too many posters here trying to find all sorts of reasons to hang the crew/operator. Many times i have had to position in a jump seat and i had a business class standby seat. So you have to move a little to let the crew get on with their job, so what! Usually only for a few minutes anyway. Also had many family members / companions in jump seats over the years (38 of them). Just a shame we are not allowed to use the flight deck seats anymore. Another PC correctness gone mad. There are many aircraft with bars and lots of pax standing. Storm in a teacup!
People with an attitude like yours are the reason that EC261 was introduced. So I should thank you for the compo, I suppose.

No need to hang the crew, they found themselves in a difficult position through no fault of theirs. The problem should never have been allowed onto the aircraft.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 16:46
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TUI
We close our eyes
Cross our fingers
And put U on the floor
TUI
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 17:26
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The parents could have easily sat here for the duration of the flight if they wanted to
, Hmmm....there speaks someone who may not have sat in a cabin jump seat for 2 ++ hours.

It is not a satisfactory alternative to a proper seat. In the good 'ole days before security and fussy regulators I have hitched rides in flight deck jump seats, cabin staff seats, and on one occasion occupied the aft hold of an F27-400 (which had an unexpectedly large effect on the aircraft CoG that nearly killed us all). Flight deck jump seats are usually quite comfortable (eg VC10, L1011, B737, BAC1-11, DC3, F27, Concorde, B747 etc) but cabin jump seats are usually instruments of torture, with vertical backs and small seats. Unless things have improved enormously.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 17:37
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Technically correct in terms of seats fitted, but TUI only sell to Y221
Thanks for the update Firefighter.
Roundwego: Are you real? This is an unbelievable load of tripe:
For F*cks sake all you PC objectors, get a life and grow some balls. The crew used their initiative and got the pax home safely and legally. The sad thing is that the SLF which in this case didn’t have the intelligence or intellect to appreciate the effort that was afforded to them to get them home then took advantage of the situation by going “public” to the media.
Let's start with the latter part of your rubbish, accusing the customers (for that is what they were) of taking advantage by going public to the media. Do you know when this incident took place? I am guessing not so I will tell you; it was in June 2018. If they wanted to go to the media and make a meal out of it, then I would suggest June or even July at latest would have suitable times. Having tried for 6 months or so to have TUI try your recommendation to "grow some balls", the customer became exasperated enough to go to the BBC for some help as TUI were by then blanking them, refusing to answer their phone calls.
Now let's talk about the lack of intellect to which you refer. Are you being serious or just downright mischievous? It is apparent they appreciated the crew's efforts from their positive comments re the F.O. coming to sympathise with them. As far as I can see, the customer never criticised the crew; their beef was with the airline. So what are you on about?
As for the others of your ilk who seem to think the family should have been thankful for being afforded the privilege of sitting on a floor, I find it hard to believe I have actually read comments such as those. Surely, when one buys a ticket it includes carriage from A to B in a seat. Or are we suggesting that sitting on the floor is OK? In that case, I hope Ryanair aren't reading this forum!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 20:42
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It says a lot about aviation culture these days that this non-event already generated 5 pages of comments, while a 707 crash with 16 fatalities, news of which was posted minutes apart only a page and a half...
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