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Last week, an Asiana Airlines’ flight had a rather harrowing experience when a passenger opened the emergency exit door as the plane was descending towards the airport in South Korea. Nine people were hospitalized and the man was arrested upon landing at Daegu International Airport (TAE). (More details can be found here.) Now, it looks like the South Korean carrier is going to stop selling some emergency exit row seats to prevent future incidents.
Asiana Airlines has said that it will block off the seat closest to the emergency exit door on its 14 Airbus A321-200 planes where there is no flight attendant guarding the door. This policy will be enforced for the foreseeable future, even if a flight is fully booked.
The aircraft in question are Asiana’s A321-200s with four sets (eight total) of emergency exit doors. In this configuration, only one of the doors does not have a flight attendant positioned by it. Seats near the emergency exits on other Asiana Airlines’ aircraft remain for sale (as they have flight attendants near them to keep watch).
(Featured Photo Credit: Star Alliance. Other Photo Credit: South China Morning Post.)
Anthony’s Take: In addition to the injuries sustained and waste of time and legal resources, the airline will now also suffer a financial loss on every flight it flies with one of the affected aircraft. The passenger who opened the door faces up to ten years in prison, but in my opinion he should also be made to pay for lost revenue as long as this change is in effect.
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