“Waiting customer” to emergency exit seat‥Asiana “Full or no sale”
This 30-year-old man who opened the emergency door during his flight was actually a standby passenger.
He ended up in an emergency exit seat when a canceled flight became available.
Emergency exit seats are reserved for people who can help passengers escape in case of an emergency.
Luckily, it didn’t lead to any major damage, but there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again.
In the meantime, Asiana Airlines has decided not to sell emergency exit seats unless they are full.
Jae Min Ko is a reporter.
◀ Report ▶
Mr. Lee Mo, a passenger in his 30s, opened the emergency door on a flight from Jeju.
It was confirmed that Mr. Lee was originally a standby passenger.
If a customer with a reservation fails to show up 30 minutes before boarding, the seat is assigned to a customer who has been waiting in line, which happened to be Mr. Lee.
Asiana Airlines explained that the emergency exit seats were the only ones in Mr. Lee’s order.
The airline also explained that before boarding, Mr. Lee was informed of his obligation to assist the flight crew in case of an emergency, including evacuation.
In Mr. Lee’s seat, he could open the emergency door by simply extending his arm while seated.
[Kim Hyung-soo/Detective Chief, Daegu Dongbu Police Station]
“(Mr. Lee) made a statement that he wanted to open the emergency door and get off quickly because he happened to be seated next to the emergency exit…”
The airplane in question,안전놀이터 made by the French company Airbus, did not have a separate safety device installed so that anyone could open the door in an emergency, and flight attendants were not seated near the emergency exit.
So Asiana Airlines initially decided not to sell the seat next to the emergency door where Mr. Lee was sitting unless it was full.
However, it is also pointed out that many flights during peak periods are often full, so compensatory measures are needed.
[Ho-Won Hwang/Professor of Aerospace Law, Korea Aerospace University]
“Such attempts to make it difficult to open the doors are wrong, and passengers should be informed that they will be punished if they do this…”
Under the Aviation Security Act, anyone who tampered with a door as Mr. Lee did could face up to 10 years in prison.
While Asiana says there were no major problems in handling the situation, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is investigating whether the crew followed safety procedures at the time.