Emergency Exit Seating Requirements

Note:

The following requirements were created in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration Regulations to ensure the safety of everyone onboard the aircraft.

Emergency Exit Seating Requirements

Federal regulations require that a Customer select a non-exit seat if he or she cannot or does not wish to perform the following functions:

  • Locate the emergency exit
  • Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism
  • Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit
  • Operate the emergency exit
  • Assess whether opening the emergency exit will increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed
  • Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a crewmember
  • Stow and secure the emergency exit window so that it will not impede use of the exit
  • Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit
  • Assess, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit

In addition, to comply with federal regulations a passenger seated in an exit seat must have sufficient mobility, strength or dexterity in both arms, hands, and both legs to:

  • Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of the emergency exit
  • Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms
  • Push, shove, pull, or otherwise open the emergency exit
  • Lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, or maneuver over the seatbacks to the next row or out the opening objects the size and weight of over-wing window exit doors
  • Remove obstructions similar in size and weight to overwing exit windows
  • Reach the emergency exit expeditiously
  • Maintain balance while removing obstructions
  • Exit expeditiously

A passenger seated in an exit seat must:

  • Be 15 years of age or older
  • Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative
  • Have the ability to read and understand instructions related to emergency evacuation provided by Southwest in printed or graphic form
  • Have the ability to understand oral crew commands
  • Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions shouted by Flight Attendants without assistance beyond a hearing aid
  • Have the ability to adequately impart information orally in English to other passengers

A passenger seated in an exit seat must not:

  • Have preboarded
  • Use a portable oxygen concentrator
  • Require a seat belt extension to fasten his or her seat belt
  • Have a condition or responsibilities, such as caring for small children or pets, that might prevent them from performing the applicable functions
  • Have a condition that might cause the person harm if he or she performs one or more of the applicable functions
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