Get Your Stuff Out Of Seatback Pocket Pronto!

CaptJax

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Get your stuff out of the airline seatback pocket pronto!
Posted by: Brad Tuttle, Thursday, Aug 27, 2009, 3:49 PM

The airline seatback pocket may not be spacious, but it has at least traditionally been a place to stash your magazine or water bottle while you snooze. Not anymore.

The FAA has decreed that no passenger personal items whatsoever are allowed in the seatback pocket, as Joe Sharkey's "On the Road" column in the New York Times reported. The only things that are supposed to be in the seatback sleeve are in-flight magazines, safety brochures, the air-sickness bag, or other official material approved of by the airline.

The ban on personal items in seatback pockets is news to a lot of passengers, and news to a lot of airlines as well. Airline spokespeople have said that they had no idea there was such a ban, and that passengers have always been allowed to make use of the seatbacks.

So what's this really all about? As Sharkey's column points out, there is probably some concern that the recent introduction of baggage fees has pushed passengers to carry more items onto the plane and stuff them wherever they can, including the seatback pocket. To some extent, flight crews must also like the ban. They probably don't want the hassle of telling passengers to keep their stuff out of the seatback. But if no personal items go into the seatback pockets, cleaning the pockets out after every flight just got a whole lot easier for the crew.

How, and how often, will this ban be enforced? It's hard to tell. If a flight attendant has recently told you that personal items in the seatback are a no-no, let us know.
 

Colonel Savage

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Airline passengers are getting close to being treated as badly as airline employees.
 

Stifler's Mom

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I always joking say atleast we're getting paid, while the pax are paying for their wonderful experience.

The more I think about it, the joke may be on me.
 

SpauldingSmails

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I could possibly see in the not so distant future that seatback pockets as we know it may be eliminated altogether. Safety instructions, fluffy magazines with route maps, and catalogs of useless crap to buy will be incorporated into a multilingual version on a personal IFE screen. Airlines would no longer have to print thousands of magazines a month and can dodge the seat back issue entirely. There may just be a small flat pocket to hold a sick-sack and possibly a hard copy safety card.
 

Bringupthebird

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How accurate is weight and balance with 100lb carry-ons being stuffed into overheads? Hook little strain guages to warning lights that tell you when the max bin weight has been reached.
 

SFR

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Airline passengers are getting close to being treated as badly as airline employees.

Yeah, because us airline employees have it so bad...... It is terrible getting 100k+ per year and working half a month or less.... geez, how dare they.
 

tomgoodman

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Become your own seatback

The FAA has decreed that no passenger personal items whatsoever are allowed in the seatback pocket, as Joe Sharkey's "On the Road" column in the New York Times reported.
In other news, clothing stores are reporting a heavy demand for extra-large cargo pants and "Captain Kangaroo" jackets....:p
 

c9skytrain

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Last time I put something in the seatback pocket (an MP3 player) while on a DH, I left it. Since then I have been avoiding the SBP.
 

Minimaniac

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Actually, Republic flight attendants have been (sporadically) enforcing this one for a few years now. Water bottles, food, laptops...none of it has been allowed in the seat back pockets.

Who knows why, but the first year's worth of Republic (not S5 or CHQ, just the Republic Airlines certificate) F/A's were very strict and enforced every FAR they knew. That group has been diluted over the years, but we still have some out there. Another random rule that they enforce far more than any other airline I have flown on is all window shades being open for takeoff and landing, and during the taxi. It is incredibly embarrassing to be sitting as number 50 in the PHL takeoff line, with the setting sun beating in, and our FA's won't let the passengers lower the window shade at all. But, I don't criticize them for following the rules. Maybe it has to do with the extra FAA scrutiny that comes along with being a new certificate. We were not allowed to apply for any exemptions until 1 year after the Republic certificate was up and running, which meant for that first year that cell phones could not be used at ANY time when the main cabin door was closed. That included the taxi in after landing. Apparently that is an exemption.
 

Coool Hand Luke

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You know, the FAA is turning Flight Attendants into mall cops and the airlines are turning them into food vendors. Not sure how hard i'd try to police this new seat pocket rule, it's simply not worth the effort.
 

gutshotdraw

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Airline passengers are getting close to being treated as badly as airline employees.

Why do you think I drove to and from my airplane (4:15 each way) this tour? More than a third of my family income arrives in the form of a check from a soon to be extinct legacy airline (think red tails and widgets) but I will do almost anything to avoid the bollocks that is airline travel. I know it's job security, but as one of the masses that pays the freight 4-5 times a month, airlining is getting more ridiculous by the day.
 

enigma

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I heard this one time. On a SWA flight out of BWI about two years ago, C FA went nuts about it. The other FA's were ignoring her.

I've never heard it since. Until now.
 

ProFracPilot

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Why do you think I drove to and from my airplane (4:15 each way) this tour? More than a third of my family income arrives in the form of a check from a soon to be extinct legacy airline (think red tails and widgets) but I will do almost anything to avoid the bollocks that is airline travel. I know it's job security, but as one of the masses that pays the freight 4-5 times a month, airlining is getting more ridiculous by the day.
+1. If I'm within a 5 hour radius of my domicile either way, it's a rental car. I usually beat the door-to-door times, too.
 

gutshotdraw

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+1. If I'm within a 5 hour radius of my domicile either way, it's a rental car. I usually beat the door-to-door times, too.
And it was cheaper too. Didn't have to bend over for the Thousands Standing Around either :rolleyes:
 

ExAF

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Last time I put something in the seatback pocket (an MP3 player) while on a DH, I left it. Since then I have been avoiding the SBP.
You should have put it in your backpack.:p just kidding.:D couldn't resist.
 

Aviation Geek

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No, I mean "what's the FAA reference"? What is the specific piece of regulation that makes this a rule?
121.589 with some language from 121.285.

The seat back pocket is not an approved stowage compartment. As it is not approved, it cannot be used for items other than those that are approved and emergency equipment (the safety information card).
 
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