Frequently Asked Questions about Emergency Exit Row Seats

Q1. What sort of assistance should be provided by passengers sitting in an emergency exit row seat?

  • A1. Assistance that flight attendants might require from passengers consists mainly of the following five duties.
    1. Controlling other passengers until the flight attendant is able to completely open the emergency exit
    2. Confirming that the environment outside the aircraft is safe and operating the emergency exit to open it in accordance with flight attendant instructions
    3. Ensuring that other passengers quickly exit the aircraft once the evacuation slide has been deployed
    4. Helping other passengers exiting the aircraft at the evacuation slide or below the evacuation hatch
    5. Verbally directing other passengers to move quickly away from the aircraft
    6. Flight attendants may issue certain orders in addition to those outlined above if required.

Q2. Why are passengers under 15 years old not allowed to sit in an emergency exit row?

  • A2. A certain level of physical strength and practical ability is required in order to successfully execute the directions of flight attendants in an emergency, including opening the emergency exit door manually.The "Operational Regulations, Examination Procedures, Detailed Regulations " issued by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, that are currently in effect state that passengers age 15 years or older are capable of providing assistance while passengers under the age of 15 years old are not permitted to sit in emergency exit row seats.

    Note that there is precedent for designating 15 years old as a lower limit for physical strength in Japan as persons 15 years of age or greater are in principle permitted to work under the current Labor Standards Act and persons over the age of 15 years old are regarded as adults for pharmaceutical purposes.

Q3. Can I still sit in an emergency exit row seat if I am traveling with a companion who might need assistance in an emergency?

  • A3. Passengers who are accompanied by a person who may require assistance during an emergency evacuation, including small children (less than 8 years old for domestic flights or less than 12 years old for international flights), elderly persons or persons with disabilities cannot focus on providing assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation and so may not sit in an emergency exit row seat.

Q4. I am currently healthy, but might it become necessary to change my seat if my condition worsens after I reserve an emergency exit row seat?

  • A4. The criterion used to make this determination is whether or not you can help other passengers evacuate in an emergency, so if you are unable to provide such assistance, please let an attendant (reservation staff, airport staff, flight attendants, etc.) know immediately.Your seat will be changed to a non-emergency exit row seat.

Q5. Are there any potential safety issues when an emergency exit row seat is unoccupied?

  • A5. Flight attendants are trained to perform emergency evacuation procedures even without passenger assistance, so an empty emergency exit row seat is not a problem, but having someone who has agreed to provide assistance seated in an emergency exit row can help to speed up the emergency evacuation process.