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Air Canada “Emergency Procedures” Policy
I recently flew on Air Canada from YOW-YVR and was told about a rule that I had never heard about. The plane was an A321 and I was seated in the middle seat of the last row. My side of the row was completely full but all three seats on the other side were empty. After take-off, a number of people near me including one of my seat mates tried to sit on the other side. All were quickly asked to leave by the flight attendant because of emergency procedures. I asked the FA what exactly the emergency procedures were that restricted people from sitting in those seats and she explained that in the case of a medical emergency, they use those seats to let the person lie down. A bit later, I noticed another FA sit down in the window seat to eat dinner. After the flight landed, I happened to be waiting right next to the FA since I was in the last row and she was in the galley. I asked her more about this emergency procedures policy and if it was new. She again explained that if there is an emergency, the seats can be used for the ill passenger to lie down and the seats are also used for the crew to rest. I mentioned that a few days prior, I had been on a flight on the same exact type of plane and it was completely full, and I asked what they would do if there was an emergency in such a case. She said that while not ideal, they would have to lie them down in the galley. This seems like a very customer-unfriendly rule. Why make people sit next to each other in tight seats when there other open seats in an equivalent class. Surely in an actual emergency the passenger would move back to their assigned seat so that the empty row could be used. Have you ever heard of such a rule or seen it being enforced? Thanks!