On a flight at the end of the 90s, the plane -- most likely a 747 -- made a stopover at an airport to refuel.

In my recollection, during the refueling process all of the children needed to leave the plane. What is the reason for this procedure?

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    $\begingroup$ related: Under what conditions are passengers required to take precautionary measures during refueling? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ Different airliners different operations; also making the (potential) evacuation more expedient by removing the most troublesome factor (bored and unruly kids) is a logical step. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ratchetfreak: except you can't send children off unguarded, so their adult companions have to leave too and then it just seems to be easier to send off everybody. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ it's also not always consistent. 2 years ago flying from Amsterdam to Jakarta with a fuel stop in Dubai everyone was told to get off during refueling. Coming back a month later, same airline, same aircraft type, they didn't deplane anyone during refueling. Might have been because of the 4 hour delay we were running on the return trip... $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Farhan When I was a kid, my parents would leave me with the stewardess for my flights to visit my grandparents, so yeah, left me with some unknown lady. Times have changed, but I'd still feel comfortable with it today in most places. /totally off topic discussion... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


You can find interesting lectures about the refueling in a Airbus Flight Operation Briefing Note or in the CAP 748.

When they have children leave the plane, it is probably a company thing! There are no such rules that all passengers have to deboard a plane during refuel (with JetA and similar). But, as you can see in the Airbus FOPN, there are some requirements that need to be met. Each manufacturer as well as each company probably has its on way of interpreting of the rules and regulations issued by the CAP and the FAA.

Summing up, it is basically by the pilots and therefore the company's discretion what to do with the passengers (or children) on board during refueling as long as saftey requirements are met!

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like nothing but an opportunity to sell some overpriced snacks to kids running around the terminal! $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 15:15

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