This question came up on one of our recent flying without fear courses at Leeds airport. It is not the first time that someone with a fear of flying has asked it to be fair.
The Question. 'I was asked to move back to the seat I was given when I checked in, even though the aeroplane was half full - would my weight really make that much difference?'
The reality is that one person wouldn't make any difference. When a flight is really empty, it is important that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the aircraft for takeoff. This is because the weight is carefully balanced for what is called 'trim' purposes. In normal speak, this means that you don't want all the passengers in one area of the aircraft for takeoff; You want the weight evenly distributed throughout. After takeoff, you can move where you want.
The reason a crew member might ask just you to move back is that you moved. If they didn't react to you moving before take off, everyone else would also move too.
Another thing to add:
A lot of our customers are often concerned about walking around in the aircraft in case it disturbs the flying. It makes no difference to the flight whatsoever.
Hope that answers that one?
Paul and Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear