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Old 05-16-2012, 10:59 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,761 times
Reputation: 10

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I was flying back from Costa Rica. Half an hour from landing in Houston, we were to bring our seats upright position. Unfortunately mine wouldn't work. Every attendant on board tried to fix it. Finally, the last one told me to "lean forward until we reach the gate." I was forced to lean all the way forward for over an hour before we taxied to a halt. I had an eye-witness who was as shocked as me and who offered me her email. I have TMJ and was absolutely miserable for the 6 hour connecting flight to Portland Oregon. I have learned from a source at this airline that there were still open seats on the plane, and that it is against FAA regulations for me to remain in that seat during landing. But all I got was an insult from the flight attendant and a very sore neck and jaw.

I complained and the airline has offered a paltry $100 voucher (one tenth on what I have already spent in medical bills).

Does anyone know about the FAA regulations concerning this? ( I feel my safety was totally jeopardized).

Does anyone know how to find out if the flight (I know there were 3 open seats prior to flight but have no information on 'standbys') was booked or not.

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,683,596 times
Reputation: 7721
I'm curious about something. If there were unoccupied seats, why didn't you just move to one?
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,602 posts, read 11,098,771 times
Reputation: 10316
You and your "facts" and "common sense" have no place here on the internets.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:40 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,188,043 times
Reputation: 35922
Quote:
Originally Posted by oleahab View Post
I was flying back from Costa Rica. Half an hour from landing in Houston, we were to bring our seats upright position. Unfortunately mine wouldn't work. Every attendant on board tried to fix it. Finally, the last one told me to "lean forward until we reach the gate." I was forced to lean all the way forward for over an hour before we taxied to a halt. I had an eye-witness who was as shocked as me and who offered me her email. I have TMJ and was absolutely miserable for the 6 hour connecting flight to Portland Oregon. I have learned from a source at this airline that there were still open seats on the plane, and that it is against FAA regulations for me to remain in that seat during landing. But all I got was an insult from the flight attendant and a very sore neck and jaw.

I complained and the airline has offered a paltry $100 voucher (one tenth on what I have already spent in medical bills).

Does anyone know about the FAA regulations concerning this? ( I feel my safety was totally jeopardized).

Does anyone know how to find out if the flight (I know there were 3 open seats prior to flight but have no information on 'standbys') was booked or not.

Thanks
I would have insisted on moving to another seat instead of subjecting myself to that type of discomfort. It's the airline's responsibility to ensure that their seats, etc comply with safety measures and should have done what they could to move you elsewhere, even if it means moving you to first class.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:19 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,883,813 times
Reputation: 6215
Quote:
Originally Posted by oleahab View Post
1. I complained and the airline has offered a paltry $100 voucher (one tenth on what I have already spent in medical bills).

2. Does anyone know about the FAA regulations concerning this? ( I feel my safety was totally jeopardized).

3. Does anyone know how to find out if the flight (I know there were 3 open seats prior to flight but have no information on 'standbys') was booked or not.
1. Sue them like any good american for pain and suffering.

2. File complaint with FAA for a 121.311(e) safety violation.

3. You'll ask for that during the discovery for the lawsuit.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:29 PM
 
11,941 posts, read 21,570,904 times
Reputation: 11755
The seat not coming back up isn't for you. It's for the people behind you in order to get them out of their seats. So no worries about your safety, you were perfectly fine.

As far as TMJ that reeks of just trying to get $$, I have pretty bad TMJ and have never once experienced a bad jaw for leaning forward in a seat. They bring the seats up roughly 15-20 mins out generally thru 10,000 ft. That is about 30-40 miles out.

The FAA would never violate an air carrier in that scenario because the equipment became faulty enroute. It's just not possible to fix something in the air.

The FA asking you to lean forward was a bit much though and dumb. I assume this was on UAL. Write a letter that is about all you can do. Sad that the FA didn't even know why you bring the seats up.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,683,596 times
Reputation: 7721
Methinks this thread was started as a DBP (Drive By Posting) and the OP will never return.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:12 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,645,060 times
Reputation: 13019
Somehow I think there is another side to this story that's probably closer to the truth.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,376 posts, read 24,147,550 times
Reputation: 8873
Seats break. Seatbelt was still functional. Be happy with your voucher and move on.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,031 posts, read 16,090,183 times
Reputation: 9382
I forwarded this to my father who works for the FAA. He's always into this type of stuff and he'll be able to get a straight answer.

In short, there's no way I would have leaned forward. On final approach and the taxi, the flight attendants can't even see you (they're in their seats too). If I had your medical condition, this feeling would be even stronger.

I'm willing to bet that they didn't move you because the fasten seatbelt sign was on (it always is by the time you're told to turn off devices, straighten the seatback and stow the table which is typically 10,000 feet... well into the descent of most flights). U.S. based airlines are VERY strict with the seatbelt rules and would never take a passenger out of a seat that far into a descent. Aisian airlines are far less strict. Last week I flew JAL to Tokyo from ORD and almost immediately after wheels up the seatbelt sign was off. It didn't come back on until we were on final. It's been the same for me on Cathay Pacific and Singapore.

Still even with other seats open it would also be against FAA regulations for you to get out of your seat and move when you're that close to landing. Should you be injured while moving about the cabin with the permission of the flight attendants, they'd be very liable in a lawsuit. They probably saw you remaining in your seat as the least risky scenario.

I'd say that if you really incurred medical problems that you can link to this particular incident and you have a witness who is not a friend/family member, find a good lawyer and go after them to at least recoup the costs of your bills. The only way you'll find out if the flight was full is probably with a court order which would only be available if you took it to that level. There's no way the airline will disclose that information without being obligated legally.

What we do know is that FAA regulations require seatbacks to be upright during landing. Assuming you have a reliable witness and can prove the medical complications, lawyer up and go after them if you want to pursue it further. You may have a case.
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