After reading all the commotion about the dog that died after its carrier was placed in the overhead bin I wondered- is it against any FAA regulations to allow a flight to take off with a partially blocked aisle?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Offtopic but it doesn't make sense to me that the dog owner wouldn't open the overhead compartment every now and then in order to give the dog some fresh air $\endgroup$
    – The Onin
    Mar 18 '18 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Are you wondering about cargo blocking the isle (such as a dog carrier) or person (such as the woman who collapsed in the isle in this instance)? I'm struggling to discern the connection between your question and the referenced story. The two different cases would potentially have two different answers. $\endgroup$
    – J Walters
    Mar 18 '18 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ @JWalters: "United spokesman Charles Hobart said the flight attendant told the dog’s owner to put the pet carrier in the overhead bin because the bag was partly obstructing the aisle." $\endgroup$ Mar 18 '18 at 21:03

Cargo cannot block the aisle -

FAR Part 121.285, governing U.S. Air Carrier Operations, states in pertinent part:

FAR 121.285- (emphasis mine)

(c) Cargo may be carried aft of a bulkhead or divider in any passenger compartment provided the cargo is restrained to the load factors in §25.561(b)(3) and is loaded as follows:

(4) Its location does not restrict access to or use of any required emergency or regular exit, or of the aisle in the passenger compartment.


It is illegal.

The minimum aisle width can be found in §25.815 Width of aisle. So you could be in breach of that if you shrink the asile to much. Similar issues are discussed here but ultimately blocking the aisle is an evacuation time issue.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ More importantly it is a food and drinks delivery issue $\endgroup$
    – PlasmaHH
    Mar 16 '18 at 17:07
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @PlasmaHH True that. The only thing worse than an angry passenger is a hungry one $\endgroup$
    – Machavity
    Mar 16 '18 at 19:12

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