I was told that a flight in Europe carried two passengers on the floor, because their purchased seats didn't exist. BBC.

Is that allowed?

For example, in Greece, a bus is not allowed to travel with any passenger on the floor (or equivalently standing), so allowing a flight to do so seems surprising!

  • $\begingroup$ You will see that sort of thing on 2nd and 3rd world airlines, but never in one operating to normal western standards. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jan 14, 2019 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ This may vary by jurisdiction but its generally not allowed. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jan 14, 2019 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I am asking specifically for Europe. $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Jan 14, 2019 at 16:50
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think you are referring to this incident. The passengers were actually sitting in crew seats during takeoff and landing and only had to sit on the floor while the crew needed the space to prepare the service. The CAA is investigating the incident. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Jan 14, 2019 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Is those unseated passengers didn't make unstable the CG? $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2019 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


Passengers on commercial airliners (US, EU, Canada, most of the world) aren't allowed to sit on the floor because 1) they could block the aisles and emergency exits and 2) they cannot be buckled up, putting their and others lives at risk.

That does not mean it could not have happened, just if it did it was against regulation.

There are cases where commercial passengers may sit on the floor but they are rare, for instance parachuting.

EDIT: In the BBC article cited after the original post says that the passengers were given spare crew flip-up seats for take-off and landing, but had to sit on the floor the rest of the time so the crew could do their service. This is against regs as they would not have been secured against unexpected turbulence. The article says the following which proves my point:

The Civil Aviation Authority says while passengers are allowed to sit in crew seats under certain conditions, they must not be left unseated during any stage of the flight.

  • $\begingroup$ I didn't think of parachuting, but of course this is a special case. So, it's not allowed, thus the airliner should be punished. $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Jan 14, 2019 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ That sort of thing makes the news believe it or not, I would want to have some evidence it happened. In other parts of the world it happens all the time, so maybe the story you heard was one of those cases. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 14, 2019 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Note that the question was later edited to include a link to a BBC story about the incident. The flight was from Minorca to Birmingham, and the "missing" seats were due to an equipment change. It sounds like the passengers were seated for take-off and landing, but that they couldn't/didn't keep their seats during the cruise phase. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2019 at 14:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh god, TUI! Don't get me started on those jokers, no seats and all they were offered was £30 in compensation! $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 15, 2019 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelSeifert indeed. However, I don't get which seats are. I mean, on my flights, flight attendants are seating, and I don't recall any spare seats... "The family were offered £30 (AU$53) by TUI as a ‘goodwill gesture’ and they offered to refund their tickets." src. However, passengers are usually shortsighted and almost always agnostic of the risks, they shouldn't be allowed to fly. $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Jan 15, 2019 at 15:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .