A passenger managed to open an airplane door while the plane was still in the air on Friday, prompting Asiana Airlines to announce that it will no longer permit passengers to occupy specific emergency exit row seats on its fleet of Airbus A321 planes.
Following the incident on a flight from Jeju to Daegu, the South Korean airline announced it would block off the seat directly next to an emergency exit door on its 14 Airbus A321-200 aircraft where there is no flight attendant manning the door.
Although adjacent seats that are still within reach of the emergency exit will continue to be sold and filled by passengers, the impacted seat will be closed off for the foreseeable future even if the aircraft is fully packed, the airline revealed.
A321-200 airplanes operated by Asiana come in a variety of seating arrangements, however, the impacted aircraft features four sets of doors. Only one of those eight doors does not have a flight attendant jumpseat nearby in the Asiana’s configurations.
When the jet was only 800 to 700 feet above the ground, the unidentified suspect, who is in his 30s, was able to unlock the door. He is accused of breaking an aviation security rule, and if found guilty, he may spend up to 10 years in jail.