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Air Canada “Emergency Procedures” Policy
I recently took a flight on Air Canada from YOW-YVR. It was on an A321 and I was seated in the last row in the middle seat. The entire right hand side of the row was full while the left was completely empty. A number of people around me including one of my seat mates tried to move into one of the empty seats. All were quickly asked to move back to their assigned seats by an FA because of emergency procedures. I had never heard of such a rule before and I asked the FA what emergency procedures restricted the use of those seats. She explained that in the case of a medical emergency, the seats are used for the passenger to lie down. A bit later, I noticed another FA sit down there to eat dinner. After the flight while waiting to get off, I happened to be standing next to the FA and asked her a bit more about the emergency procedures policy and if it was new. She again reiterated that it was in case of a medical emergency and also added that it was for crew rest as they don’t have a lot of space otherwise. I mentioned that a few days ago I had been on the same aircraft and the flight was full. She said that if there was a medical emergency in that situation, while not ideal, they would lay the passenger down on the galley floor. This seems like a very customer-unfriendly policy as there was no good reason to keep passengers together in the tight seats when there were open seats in an equivalent class. Surely in an actual emergency the passenger would quickly go back to their original seat. Have you ever heard of or seen this policy? Thanks!
Their excuse of medical emergency is bs. But generally the last row on one of the sides is blocked for the crew if the flight isn’t full. They can use this area on their break to sit and eat and rest. Especially since YOW-YVR is a long flight, I’d assume it was solely blocked for that reason.