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South Korean Airlines Will Assign Emergency Exit Seats to Uniformed Workers After Passenger Managed to Open Door Midflight

South Korean Airlines Will Assign Emergency Exit Seats to Uniformed Workers After Passenger Managed to Open Door Midflight

the wing of a plane

From Monday, four major South Korean airlines will begin assigning emergency exit seats on certain aircraft to uniformed workers, such as the military, police officers and firefighters, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of a terrifying incident in May in which a passenger managed to open an unattended emergency exit door during the final moments of flight.

In the wake of the May 26 incident onboard Asiana Airlines flight OZ8124, several airlines stopped selling seats immediately adjacent to some emergency exit row seats.

This new idea was dreamt up by South Korea’s ruling People Power Party and will allow airlines to start filling planes up to maximum capacity, according to the Straits Times.

The government has identified 94 seats across 38 different aircraft types where uniformed workers should be given priority seating because they are immediately next to or very close to an emergency exit door.

So far, Asiana Airlines, Air Seoul, Air Busan and Aero K Airlines have signed up to the scheme.

In May, a male passenger managed to open an emergency exit door of an Airbus A321 while the aircraft was on final approach to Daegu in South Korea. The plane had descended to an altitude at which the pressurisation had dropped to such a level that it was possible to open the door.

It has been reported the aircraft was in the air for a full eight minutes until it eventually landed.

On this particular aircraft, the closest flight attendant was sat on the opposite side of the aircraft and wasn’t able to prevent the suspect from lifting the door handle. Unlike on some aircraft, the door was not fitted with a ‘speed lock’, which would prevent the door from opening while the plane is travelling above a certain speed.

Along with uniformed workers, emergency exit row seats will also be assigned to airline workers first before being released to the public.

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  • I’ve always thought that emergency row seats should be assigned to non-rev airline employees before other passengers. Not for security as much as safety. Flight crew non-revs are professionally trained on how to evacuate the aircraft and open the doors so it makes sense even if I’d hate it as a passenger that is big and tall and enjoy exit row seats.

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