On a flight with Singapore airline from Zurich to Singapore with a Boeing 777 I had an aisle seat. Shortly before take off, a flight attendant approached me and told me that this seat is unsafe and I had to move seats for take off. I was given a seat that is normally used by the crew members. After take off I could go back to my first seat.

However, I felt a little bit uncomfortable after that for the rest of the flight. Who wants to sit on an unsafe seat?

So, what are the reasons that such a seat could be considered unsafe only during takeoff? What should I have done?


1 Answer 1


It's more likely that there was a problem with the seat.

This could be, but is not limited to (and I've seen all of these):

  • malfunctioning/broken seatbelt.
  • seat stuck in the reclined position.
  • loose screw in seat
  • broken component in seat support structure

As such, until they get a chance to service it, they move you.

Presumably because of the different stresses the plane goes under during acceleration, that they moved you. If you seat broke mid-flight, you could stroll around and sit somewhere else. If it happens during take-off, they can't even get up to help you (Well they shouldn't).

It's not like there's an "unsafe" seat on every flight - you don't have to try and remember to avoid say, 37A, or something. It's just that for that flight, they probably had a problem with one.

  • 3
    A weakened seat might be strong enough to sit on, but liable to break up under the stress of a crash. Crashes basically only happen at takeoff and landing (or those that don't aren't survivable anyway) so it makes sense to move you at those times. Sep 18, 2012 at 13:17
  • 2
    I think if it was a broken seatbelt, the seat would have been folded in as you can't use it during flight (what if the there is turbulence or the seat belt sign is illuminated?) So I would argue on seat stuck on the reclined position. Dec 17, 2014 at 10:52

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