Why does VA block row 16?

Mattg

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I've noticed that Virgin consistently blocks the entire row 16 from selection on its Boeing 737-800 flights. Does anyone know why?

As far as I know, this row isn't missing a window or anything.
 
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Never noticed that until you mentioned it! And only on the 737-800, not the 737-700, it looks like.

I have two flights booked far in the future where I'm the only passenger to have selected a seat on the whole plane... except row 16, which is blocked on the 737-800! On another flight in June, rows 15-17 are all blocked out (everything surrounding them is available).

Interesting... no idea why.
 

Bagpuss

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I’ve wondered this myself.
It’s not just all of row 16, it‘s row 30 D,E and F and well.
My only theory is it’s for unaccompanied minors / disabilities. Whilst not assigned to these seats, it allows for reassignment when passed to “airport control“.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I’ve wondered this myself.
It’s not just all of row 16, it‘s row 30 D,E and F and well.
My only theory is it’s for unaccompanied minors / disabilities. Whilst not assigned to these seats, it allows for reassignment when passed to “airport control“.

I was thinking along the same lines. UMs would probably be in the row 30. But I thought row 16 keeps some 'reasonable' seats free for last minute pax that might need to be seated together?
 

Must...Fly!

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I’ve wondered this myself.
It’s not just all of row 16, it‘s row 30 D,E and F and well.
My only theory is it’s for unaccompanied minors / disabilities. Whilst not assigned to these seats, it allows for reassignment when passed to “airport control“.
30 DEF typically are blocked to seat unaccompanied minors, or persons in custody.

As for row 16, I really have no idea. Fortunately don't have to look that far back on the seat map...:p
 
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Mattg

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But I thought row 16 keeps some 'reasonable' seats free for last minute pax that might need to be seated together?

That's the only logical explanation I can think of. And I have seen situations at the airport where having row 16 free has allowed people to be re-accommodated at the last minute when they weren't happy with whatever seats they were given at check-in.
 

AviatorInsight

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@jamescara Thanks for the shoutout. I didn’t know this myself but asked one of the load controllers. This is their response:

”It’s called a buffer zone, so Row 16 and the last row of every aircraft (737) is automatically blocked by the system. It’s to accommodate for last minute seat changes, seat families together, unaccompanied minors down the back, etc. The system will only automatically allocate those seats when you check in if all windows and aisles are taken. The agent can override it though and pop you in there when you check in at the airport.”

Seems like you were all correct.
 

Mattg

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@jamescara Thanks for the shoutout. I didn’t know this myself but asked one of the load controllers. This is their response:

”It’s called a buffer zone, so Row 16 and the last row of every aircraft (737) is automatically blocked by the system. It’s to accommodate for last minute seat changes, seat families together, unaccompanied minors down the back, etc. The system will only automatically allocate those seats when you check in if all windows and aisles are taken. The agent can override it though and pop you in there when you check in at the airport.”

Seems like you were all correct.

Thank you for finding the answer! Interesting to know.
 

samas

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I suspect they chose row 16 as Rows 3-13 are reserved for Plat/Gold/Silver seat selection initially, row 14-15 exit rows so row 16 is the next available.
 

AIRwin

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I suspect they chose row 16 as Rows 3-13 are reserved for Plat/Gold/Silver seat selection initially, row 14-15 exit rows so row 16 is the next available.
Rows 13 and 14 are the emergency exit on the B737-800
 
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