From deflated cushions to faulty recliners, travel experts share 4 things to do if your seat is broken on a flight

An American Airlines flight attendant serving passengers on a 2018 flight.
An American Airlines flight attendant serving passengers on a 2018 flight.Robert Alexander/Getty Images
  • Sometimes airplanes have broken seats. If you fly a lot, you might get stuck with one.

  • Experts from the travel website The Points Guy shared their steps for dealing with a broken seat.

  • They suggest alerting the crew, taking pictures, and filing a complaint.

Have you ever been stuck on an airplane with a broken seat?

Zach Griff has, twice, the senior reporter for the travel website The Points Guy told Insider. And he said doesn't think the situation is uncommon, especially in premium cabins such as business or first class.

"It happens with some frequency, especially considering how many moving parts there are in some of the fanciest seats in the sky," he said. "Plus, airline seats are used around the clock every single day of the year, so things tend to break."

According to Griff, broken airline seats are usually fixed right away or blocked off "until the mechanics can address the issue." But it is possible to board a plane and find that your assigned seat is broken. So if one day you find yourself sitting on a deflated cushion or in a seat that doesn't recline, Griff shared some helpful tips with Insider.

1. Test your seat before you take off

"First, try resolving the issue on the ground before the aircraft door closes," Griff said. "This way, the ground staff can see about changing your seat assignment, calling a mechanic, or offering you an alternative routing."

To make sure you're aware of any issues before takeoff, Griff recommends testing every part of your seat after boarding, including the belt, recliner, and any premium features offered in premium cabins.

"If you splurged for business class, test if the seat reclines and converts into a bed," he said.

2. Notify the crew

Once you know there's an issue with your seat, Griff said to notify the cabin crew immediately instead of trying to fix it yourself.

"You don't want to risk breaking the seat even more by pressing the wrong button," he added.

3. Request alternatives

Michelle Couch-Friedman, a columnist for The Points Guy, offered more advice about broken airline seats in a recent article about a woman who was stuck in a broken business-class seat on an international flight.

According to Couch-Friedman, if there are no other available seats in your cabin, you should ask a crew member to upgrade or downgrade to another cabin on board with an available seat. Policies for refunds or compensation for downgrades vary by airline.

If there are no empty seats, and you're still on the ground, Couch-Friedman recommends asking a crew member to be moved to the next available flight.

4. Take pictures and file a complaint

If the seat can function without a safety issue such as a broken seat belt, Couch-Friedman reported that you may want to sit in it and file a complaint with the airline after your flight. To do this, Couch-Friedman said it's important to take photos and videos of the seat showing how it doesn't work to share with the airline. This may give you a better chance of getting compensated for the incident.

If you get no response from the airline, Couch-Friedman recommends filing a complaint with the US Department of Transportation and the airline will be required to respond within 60 days.

Read the original article on Insider