Cranky on the Web: Rethinking Window Seats After Southwest 1380

Accidents/Incidents, Southwest

Window seat or aisle? After Southwest incident, some fliers think twiceCNN Money
If you read the title of this post and rolled your eyes, then we’re in the same boat. When I got the call saying some people were suggesting that they would reconsider window seats because of the death that occurred on Southwest 1380, I started to rant. The odds of something like this happening in the same exact way are so incredibly tiny. You’re more likely to die by getting run over by a cart in the aisle, or something else equally improbable and ridiculous. But, I did change my tune toward the end of my conversation. I think people should definitely start choosing aisles more. That leaves more window seat options for me.

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30 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Rethinking Window Seats After Southwest 1380

  1. People of the world, AVOID WINDOW SEATS – THEY ARE DANGEROUS!!!! Please listen to Brett and me and protect yourselves – choose middle seats, in the BACK of the airplane – they’re the safest spot in a car for a baby and by far the safest option for you on a plane.

    1. Windows need to eliminated from airplanes. Instead, install cameras on the wing and tail and use video monitors for those who want to see outside.

  2. There are so many things more important than where you sit that will contribute to your survival in a potential accident, or extreme turbulence situation. I am always in my seatbelt while seated, but I am amazed at how many people can’t wait to take that thing off and then wonder when it gets bumpy why they get bumped around! I’ve had a passenger next to me go straight up almost a foot during turbulence and I’m always concerned that some unbuckled bone-head will cause me injury when we hit the inevitable bumps.

    1. I disagree. The most dangerous part of flying is the chance you are going to suffocate to death sitting next to someone who desperately needs Jenny Craig!

  3. I felt the same way after reading a story this week about how you could try to check the maintenance record on the aircraft you were flying. Considering that we now have one pax who has died on a USA commercial aircraft in 9 years, that seemed a bit overkill (bada bing) to me. And, btw, what would you do if for some reason you “didn’t like” the maintenance record? Cancel your ticket for a couple hundred bucks? Sigh.

    For years, I’ve always preferred aisle seats. I guess I just like the ability to get up whenever I want to, including the ability to get my things together when the seat belt sign goes off when you get to the gate. But, lately, I’ve enjoying the calm of window seats more. You don’t get bunked as people go up and down the aisle. The boarding process is calmer. There’s a little more room if you lean against the window. The view can sometimes be interesting. I still think I prefer the aisle for long flights (when I know I’ll want to get out of my seat sometime), but for shorter flights, I’ll take the window seat and take my chances. :)

  4. It’s more dangerous sitting in an aisle seat. I don’t know how many times someone gets up and flips open the bin and a piece of luggage falls out on your head. I had a Halliburton suitcase fall on my head and the guy who owned it was more concerned about it being damaged than my head. Left a nice dent, on my head.

  5. My #1 seating choice was any exit row seat.  Physical ability declined. I’m now one of the “lucky” (HAH!) preboarding folks in the wheelchairs. Trust me, I’ll swap with anyone.
    I still bypass the bulkhead.  Narrower seats, no storage.  I head back five or six rows, then claim a window seat for the added upper-body and head-leaning space.
    This bit me in September on a 737-800. The window was only halfway in my space, so I lost the stretching advantage to a window frame.
    I have a non-stop SWA IND-LAX flight in July. I’ll do my homework.

  6. Little tidbits: The area at Bernville, Pa. Blue Marsh Lake is on a very busy north-south migratory bird flyway–mostly hawks, mostly in fall, but just down the road, southeast of Bernville, around Middle Creek, Lancaster County, Pa. is one of the country’s biggest snow goose flyways. This is the time of the year they are heading north, and this year has been the heaviest concentration of them ever. I think they mostly fly around 7-9,000 feet, but they apparently can get up to 21,000. This whole area is a bird-heaven, given all the farms, and crop spillage there. Flight-Aware has shown parts coming off the plane at Bernville, then making a left 180 around Lancaster to get to PHL. Such a tragedy, but I hope they don’t recommend eliminating airliner passenger windows!

    1. The Concorde had no windows. Neither did the first NASA Mercury capsules.   The de Havilland Comet had square ones.
      After 51 years in service, how many windows didn’t blow out?
      Without windows, flight attendants couldn’t point out Lake/Mount/River Ellifino to curious passengers.

      1. Take it from one who spent a great deal of time up close to, and in, Concordes: they did have windows. For some photographic examples, Google concorde+windows. What you may be thinking of is that the Concorde had no windows in its doors.

        1. I’ve walked through the one at the Seattle Museum of Flight, and under one that a race car owner flew to watch Indianapolis 500.

          Somehow I was thinking passengers had video screens instead.  Was that because the windows were so tiny?

          1. By design, the windows on Concorde are small due to the huge differential between cabin and atmospheric pressure at cruise. The video screens were just only implemented recently on Emirates suites to emulate outside view, no way did the technology exist in the 60s.

  7. Yes, I did roll my eyes. But I understand that people are likely to react that way, it’s just human nature. When a totally unexpected, and admittedly tragic accident like this occurs, it’s pretty normal.

    But if an air conditioner fell out of a window and killed a passerby on the street below, you wouldn’t stop walking on the street, even if it was a one in a trillion event. It’s just easier to relate. Me, I’ll take the window seats too – as long as they’re correctly aligned so my shoulder isn’t jammed into the mullion.

  8. … or severely hurt head due to heavy carry-on carelessly taken out from an overhead bin. (if we’re still taking about aisle vs window)

  9. And these people who are how scared of sitting by a window, will get in their automobile every day and drive around in a vehicle that more people die in every day, then those that die in airplanes in decades I bet.

    1. Yes, please promote the middle seat so non-revs like myself can finally get a decent seat on the aircraft; a window seat instead of the middle or aisle seat, yeah!!!

  10. In addition to WN1380 risks, window seats are more dangerous because people are too #^$% slow if there is an evacuation. The main danger of aisle seats is being hit by an elbow or luggage (carried or falling from the overhead).

    I choose windows for only a few special circumstances.
    1. transatlantic or pacific red eye for better sleep
    2. scenic views expected (like DCA or maybe SFO)

  11. I, too, prefer a window seat. People pay for sightseeing flights over the Grand Canyon and the like, but the aerial views are included in the price of a regular plane ticket. However, on my last flight I was in the front bulkhead row in a middle seat. On both sides of the row, the people in the window seats had the shades down. Turns out they like to sleep leaning against the sides of the plane. Oh, well…..

  12. In one of the images of that incident, all the people pictured had their masks over their mouths and NOT their noses. (Mouth and nose is stated in the safety briefing).

    It’s therefore more likely that people will die of asphyxiation due to ignoring safety briefings.

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