How do you get an exit row seat on a plane?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Fireball, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. Fireball

    Fireball New Member


    I travel on a plane each summer going out of the country. On a car trip, I am good for about an hour and then I am in horrible pain from not moving. This means that on the plane I have to walk around a lot even when I am tired as I just cannot stand it. I cannot watch the movie either on the plane as I tend to get a little motion sickness. So I don't sleep and I just walk. I probably drive the people around me crazy from all of my walking.

    I have tried to ask for the exit row because there is more room for my legs which need to be up a little. I think that I physically could help passengers out in an emergency. My main problem is that I just cannot sit still. I do not usually take anything in the way of meds other than over the counter pain meds. However, as soon as I let them know that anything is wrong with me, then of course they will not give me an exit row seat.

    The bulkhead seats are usually reserved for families with infants so this is not really a good choice for me as I do not like to sit by a crying infant for hours. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get a seat with more leg room other than staying home or just sitting on an aisle seat? They do give exit row seats to tall people!!! I wish that I could afford a higher class seat where there is more room.


  2. Tibbiecow

    Tibbiecow New Member

    First when you buy your ticket find out what class of plane it will be on and on the internet find out the seating arrangement to find the desirable exit row seats. They do not always put families in the bulkhead rows. Some of the exit row seats are worse than the regular seats, watch out! So study up on your plane. Second, get a capital one or other like type credit card that lets you accumulate miles for any airline with no blackout dates. Use said card for groceries, daily and monthly expenses WHICH YOU CAN PAY OFF each month and pay off tha balance each month. Then you can upgrade your ticket to first class for about 8,000 miles or so each way. Bliss. And the best way to get an exit row seat is to check in REALLY EARLY, like three or four hours early which means being at the airport way too long. Good luck,


  3. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    or with a companion? If you travel with someone, one of you should request an aisle seat, the other the bulkhead, leaving the less desirable middle seat empty. Odds are very much in your favor that the center seat will remain empty, giving you a little extra room. If someone should be assigned that seat, ask if they would like to trade. The other option is to brush up on the safety features for the type of plane you will be on, and be able to recite precisely how you CAN assist others due to your familiarity with the platform. You can always find out what platform you will be flying when you make your reservation. If you choose to go this route, be sure that you can recognize different platforms by sight. It is not unheard of for a plane to break and be replaced with something else. It could prove embarrassing to announce how familiar you are with the DC-9, or the MD-80, which is the stretched version, and learn that a 737, which looks nothing like the other platform, has been substituted at the last minute.
  4. healing

    healing New Member

    and I have found that being honest with reservations PEOPLE (as opposed to the internet) gets good seats. Calling far in advance guarantees the best seat selection. So does having a pile of frequent flyer miles.

    But mainly, without whining, I tell the truth -- I say I have arthritis and chronic pain, that I have to wiggle around a lot, get up and rearrange myself frequently, stretch my legs out, etc etc -- and that almost always gets me the kind of seating I need. In fact, they have frequently upgraded me to economy plus, business class, first class, when there are such seats available. I'm always careful to say thanks and be a grateful customer from start to finish.

    Hope your trip goes well...
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    If you do request an exit seat, be certain you can open the door in an emergency. It would not be right to endanger lives just to get a little extra space.

    I, personally, prefer the bulkhead seats and ask for them when I get my seat assignment. I also will sit in an exit row because I would be able to open the door.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Fireball

    Fireball New Member


    You mention that being honest with the airlines that you need extra room for a med condition such as arthritis has gotten you a better seat or an upgrade. I have had just the opposite happen to me each summer. When I tell them that I have even the slightest thing wrong with me, they are determined to not give me the exit row seat. I do try to be polite too. Understandably, in an emergency those in that row have to be able to assist passengers but I know that I could do that.

    I will try this year to have my husband reserve a seat two seats from me in a regular row or the bulkhead, leaving the middle seat free. Last year,my husband left his seat next to me and tried to find another seat on the aircraft to give me more room. Another guy at the rear of the plane had an extra seat that was not being used but when my husband explained that he needed to give up his seat for me and take the unused seat, the man refused to allow him to sit there. We had to complain to the flight attendents and then this guy would not speak to my husband. If my legs can not be propped up on my backpack then I get this awful pain. I also shift a lot in my seat. It hurt so bad that I was crying because the flight was so long and I got so tired of walking in the aisle. Thanks.
  7. healing

    healing New Member

    Yes, they will not put you in an exit row if you tell them you have a physical problem because you have to be at the ready, and physically able, to help get people out of the plane in case of emergency. They will assume you can't handle this with a physical problem, no matter what you tell them because it's their job to ensure everyone's safety.

    I never ask for the exit row because the seat backs don't recline, the trays come out of the arm and they're too tight for my tummy, and there's nothing to put my feet on (I'm very short). Instead, I like an aisle seat. So that may be why I have better luck. An aisle seat in economy plus or higher allows me to wiggle around, get up and down without bothering a lot of people, and not be claustrophobic (which happens to me in economy and inside seats). I'm frequently on very long flights, and this works well for me. I also do meditation and mind "games" to get myself through -- I work crossword puzzles, read riveting books, and just go into suspended animation if I can. It gets me through.

    Try telling them you need the exit row or bulkhead because you have long legs and need to stretch them out. I have never heard of them asking how tall you are, but it probably happens. Good luck to you!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/06/2003]