Passengers’ fury as BA flight ‘almost grounded’ because seats were too comfy

9 February 2024, 14:34 | Updated: 9 February 2024, 19:52

The flight was delayed due to an issue with the seats.
The flight was delayed due to an issue with the seats. Picture: TikTok/slimventures

By Jenny Medlicott

A flight to London almost had to be grounded after aviation authority staff noticed an issue with the plane’s seats.

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Passengers had been on an Airbus A320neo flight from Milan to London Heathrow when an issue with some of the seats on board was flagged.

In a video shared on TikTok, one of the passengers claims that their flight had a surprise aviation check from the Italian authorities.

The video’s opening caption reads: “We had a surprise Italian aviation authority check, and the seats in the emergency row were the wrong size.

“The staff asked us to look under our seats for the correct serial number”.

Later in the video, the user explains that the seats in the emergency exit row should have been shorter than they were.

Emergency row seats typically have more legroom for passengers to create a wider aisle in case the plane needs to be evacuated, even if the shorter seats means they're a tad less comfy.

But because the seats were not short enough, the rest of the passengers on board had to assist the search for the right cushions - otherwise they would have had to leave the plane.

The video shows all the passengers on board lifting off their seat cushions, turning them upside down and checking labels for the correct serial number.

“We’re meant to have the short ones,” the TikTok user says.

“‘So we are checking under the seats in case they are somewhere else. If we can’t find them, if we can’t find 12, we need to disembark and we are not safe to fly.”

Social media users were left furious over the incident, as one wrote: “This is ridiculous! You do this before the passengers get on. A PR disaster by the Italian aviation authority.”

Another said: “Shouldn’t be asking untrained passengers to do this.”

One added: “How dare they do that with passengers on board !!!!”

As the incident delayed the flight, the user who shared the video said he received a compensation voucher for the inconvenience - except it was only valid for the same flight.

“I won a flight back to London with an extra 1hr delay voucher to use on that journey only,” he wrote.

British Airways said in a statement: "There was a short delay to this flight due to an inspection and we've apologised to our customers for the disruption to their journeys."