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Surface Movement

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The FAA prohibits passengers from moving about the cabin any time the aircraft is moving along the ground. From the time the plane pushes back from the boarding gate until it takes off is considered “taxi” time. If anyone gets out of their seats while the plane is taxiing pilots are required to stop any movement until they sit back down.

You might ask yourself why someone would be out of their seats but it happens more often than people think. The most common reason is getting up to use the lavatory, but people also routinely stand up to get things out of their bags in the overhead bin. Passengers also can be too quick to get up after landing while the plane is still taxiing back to the gate, especially if they have a connection to make.

Because the plane will have to stop if anyone is up, this can cause delays. To make sure you are not causing the delay be sure to use the restroom either at the airport or before landing (be sure to take small children also). You should get anything (like headphones and magazines) out of your bags before you board the plane. Also ensure any children are seated and buckled up during taxi and takeoff.

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Jay Muller

Author of The Flight Advisor