Using the Bulkhead Row of Middle Seats as a Through Way

ou sit in your seat at the bulkhead in the middle section aboard the large airplane which has two aisles. There is no one seated in front of you; so you know that the back of a seat will not recline into your space. The airplane departs and ascends into the sky; and you start to get comfortable…

…until the sign to fasten your seat belt is no longer illuminated; and here they come: fellow passengers who barge through in front of you, using the bulkhead row of middle seats as a through way to get to the other side of the aircraft.

I personally do not prefer bulkhead seats anywhere on the aircraft; as — more often than not — there is not enough leg room for me. I certainly would not want a train of people moving across in front of me, straddling over my legs in there attempts to climb over me with their crotches or posteriors in my face — only to inadvertently bang into me or step on my foot before continuing onwards with nary an apology. It is bad enough when that happens in other rows — or having that large bag whack me in the face by some clueless moron who does not know how to control it while I am sitting in an aisle seat.

Ah…more reason to enjoy a window seat aboard an airplane — but I digress.

When I am standing in an aisle — waiting to use a lavatory, for example — there may be times where the lavatory on the other side of the aircraft is vacant; but the flight attendants are blocking my egress because they are busy serving passengers. I would never use the space in front of the seats at the bulkhead in the middle section of the airplane as a short cut or a time saver. That space belongs to the passengers for as long as they are assigned to those seats — and in my opinion, that is indisputable.

Where does anyone need to go in such a hurry, anyway — especially if the arrival at our destination is not for another several hours? It is not like they have a business appointment to keep — or that they need to meet someone at a certain time. The airplane is not going to get there any faster — no matter how much flatulence a person may believe they can contribute to the jet stream while in flight.

Maybe the offenders believe that people would rather watch them move in front of the screen on the bulkhead instead of the movie itself being shown on that screen? Could it be their only opportunities to be in — or on — a motion picture in front of a captive audience?

Perhaps the people seated in those seats can charge a toll for anyone who wants to use the space in front of them as a passageway. They should be able to collect enough money to pay for their airfares and then some.

“Its got the point now where we sometimes pile a bag up by our feet to block it off”, posted FlyerTalk member psychocandy. “Still had someone last flight who steamed across the first two of us- saw the bag tower by person three and asked us to move it so they could get past!

“Am I right in thinking its a bit rude to use this as throughway?”

I believe it is more than a bit rude, psychocandy. I believe that their behavior is egregiously inconsiderate and unacceptable.

What are your thoughts?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

8 thoughts on “Using the Bulkhead Row of Middle Seats as a Through Way”

  1. Scott C says:

    Just goes back to the “me first – that’s your problem” attitude so prevalent amongst society as a whole. If indeed the circumstances called for it, I would allow someone to pass. An elderly person making the way to a lavatory, etc. Even occasionally (EVER so Occasionally!) the polite person that apologizes for the disturbance and asks — Oh dare I say it — please? Love your blog – write on!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you so much, Scott C — I appreciate it!

      You are indeed a patient and respectful person to allow someone to pass. That is admirable of you…

  2. I agree. The only exception to me is if someone needs to step in to allow someone else to pass in the other direction. Otherwise, no climbing through.

    I did fly on one plane where the emergency exit row was so wide that there was a good 3 feet of space beyond people’s legs. It was a row of 2, and I was in the window seat of the row behind it, so admittedly I did just walk forward rather than make the 2 people next to me get up. Since I wasn’t anywhere close to the people in the row in front of me thanks to all that legroom, I figured it was ok.

  3. Captain Obvious says:

    I like your column Brian, I find it very entertaining. Your writing style is almost identical to that of mine in regards to use of sarcasm, adjectives of dumb people, and examples of stupid behavior. I am like psychocandy, I would do the same thing. When that person who thinks they can go wherever they want reaches my spot, I would simply look up and stare at them. If they say can you move your bag I would say no, and continue to look them in the eye until they got the point. As you eloquently stated, there is no reason for all this walking around and there is plenty of time to get from one side of the plane to the other. No need to inconvenience an entire row of passengers so you can talk to someone.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you so much — and I like that name, Captain Obvious!

      During those times when I allow myself to be uninhibited when I write — many members of both FlyerTalk and Milepoint are very familiar with my writing style — I sometimes wonder if I have gone too far…

      …and yes — like you, I have the stare of death, as someone once called it — even when I do not mean to use it at times…

  4. Dylan says:

    A strategy would just be to get everyone in your row to put their bags on the floor and make it difficult to pass. This approach is obviously easier if traveling as a group.

    In the last row of Club World on BA, we were in the middle four seats, and a passenger tried walking behind our seats once, and made it about one foot before the flight crew told him that was our space and to walk around.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The only problem with that approach, Dylan, is that when seated in the bulkhead row, that would entail fetching all of those bags from the overhead compartments once the aircraft has reached cruising altitude; and then having to stow all of them back in the overhead bins prior to the final descent…

      …but it is probably worth the effort.

  5. Jenny says:

    If you pay extra for the legroom, it should be yours, so you shouldn’t have to be constantly pulling your feet in to let people pass. I wish more airlines would post signs stating ‘no passthrough’, like Turkish airlines does. I don’t have a problem if a few people ask nicely, but then there are those jerks who believe it’s their right to step on your feet.

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