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August 10th, 2007

The Unspoken Exit Row Code

I was seated in an exit row on my flight home yesterday. I usually don’t have a problem with this; in fact I specifically booked said exit row because of the legroom. While I don’t need the room for my legs, I also don’t really want a person’s headrest in my stomach.

As I said, there’s usually not a problem. But there’s an odd unspoken code of the exit row that is only invoked when the person in the window seat – me, last night – needs to use the restroom. And that code is: no one gets up.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this, and it seems to be the standard. Thus, it’s code. And you know it’s all fine and dandy if everyone is small enough to fit between a tray table and seatbacks. But I’m definitely not. So instead, I was worrying about knocking a guy’s Bloody Mary off of his tray table while he did sudoku (not very well, I might add.)

Worse, despite the fact that I am not a beanpole these folks did not get up or offer to do so. I figured that due to my awkward experience getting out of the row, they’d get up so I could get back in to the row. No dice.

But it’s not just me, I swear. I must say, I’m not a fan of this code. Sure, if you’re skinny and can get on through – no problem. But if not, people should be able to figure out that it’s not going to be pleasant and offer to get up.

Posted in Everyday Life

Ryan August 10, 2007, 1:36 pm

Paul, did this experience cause your newfound love of extra carriage returns?

Paul August 10, 2007, 1:51 pm

Yes. (Sometimes I’m in the COD club of hatin’ on our CMS.)

jk August 11, 2007, 2:59 am

I can’t even squeeze by people without giving someone an elbow or a knee.

This is why I have to have the aisle seat. Please.

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