British Airways Flight Delayed Because Seats Were Too Thick

British Airways Airbus A320neo

Passengers on board a British Airways flight from Milan to London were in for a bit of a shock after officials from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority delayed their flight over seat cushions that were too thick.

A surprise inspection resulted in British Airways flight 575 from Milan Linate Airport (LIN) to London Heathrow (LHR) leaving an hour later after it was discovered that the seat cushions in the emergency exit rows protruded beyond the allowed limit set by the Italian CAA.

Emergency exit rows generally have a bit more foot space, as seats are placed farther apart, with shortened seat cushions to allow for less restriction during an evacuation. This is why they are generally a favorite pick amongst travelers flying in economy as they are less cramped than the usual sardine can seats throughout the rest of the aircraft.

Unfortunately as this flight was fully booked, airline officials had the choice of either canceling the flight and sending a substitute aircraft with the rights specs, or play mix and match and find the appropriate cushions from on board the current aircraft to replace those in the emergency exit rows.

As there are two emergency exit rows on the affected 5-year-old Airbus A320neo (registered G-TTNA), they needed to find 12 replacement cushions in order to get the show on the road.

Luckily for them, there were enough seats with cushions of the right specification that could be verified with serial numbers printed under the cushion. However, it required that all passengers remove their seat cushions in order to find shorter ones so that the appropriate swaps could take place.

It’s not clear how the mix up occurred in the first place, but British Airways installed standard sized cushions in the emergency rows where shorter ones should have been.


PART 1 – Random aviation authority checks in Milan almost grounded this British airways to LHR. #aviation #airbus #britishairways #milan

♬ original sound – Slim

PART 2 – Random aviation authority checks in Milan almost grounded this British airways to LHR. #aviation #airbus #britishairways #milan

♬ original sound – Slim

The whole ordeal was captured on video (what isn’t these days?), showing passengers checking their seats, playing a bit of bingo to see who had the correct cushion to donate.

While it is commendable that authorities are keeping airlines in check, it is still a bit puzzling how they decided to pick this aircraft for inspection. Maybe an insider tip? That, of course will remain a mystery.

[Featured Photo: ERIC SALARD/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed) ]

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