Follow up from What if there are no volunteers to sit in the emergency exit row? and @mins 's comment:

I'm curious... What prevents someone to say they will assist and then just rush out of the plane when the need to assist is here? Tons of people are ready to promise anything to get what they want, and then just say they didn't understand what they were asked for (or more likely swear that they were not asked anything... show me the evidence...)

..What are actually your responsibilities in case an actual emergency occurs and you have to do the assisting tasks?

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    $\begingroup$ You should open the door, if told so by the crew. And I'm pretty sure that this is in your very own interest. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Jun 21, 2016 at 8:17
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    $\begingroup$ And get out of the way, by evacuating yourself $\endgroup$
    – Martheen
    Jun 21, 2016 at 8:18
  • $\begingroup$ Some videos showing how to open the overwing exit: youtube.com/watch?v=bv9fchRvEig youtube.com/watch?v=tg44goIZnqw youtube.com/watch?v=2gZ22iQBlmc $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Jun 21, 2016 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ Read the evacuation section of this incident report. Despite being briefed on what to do, passengers seated in an exit row did not open the door and evacuated from another exit on the other side of the aircraft. Some people are not able to maintain a clear head when under pressure. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


When sitting at the exit you need to be the first one out of the plane. Basically when the emergency is declared and the captain says, Evacuate, Evacuate, you go to your door, check the outside for fires. Then you open the door en be the first one out of the door. You then put as much distant between you and the plane as fast as possible. Or you assist on the outside of the plane by making sure people create enough distance between themselves and the plane.

What could with hold them from sitting there is the responsibility to get the door open. Or the fact that they enter a shock and will be unable to move during an emergency.

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    $\begingroup$ I would check for any kind of hazards, especially water. I don't want to be the person who sank the plane, without need: One rear door was opened by a panicking passenger, causing the A320 to fill more quickly with water. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549#Evacuation $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Jun 21, 2016 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ "What could with hold them from sitting there is [...] Or the fact that they enter a shock and will be unable to move during an emergency." Most people do not know that they will freeze in an emergency, so unless they've gone through something like that before its highly doubtful anybody is going to recognize that trait and not sit in the exit row. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 21, 2016 at 13:19

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