Ryanair to force people with children to pay for seat allocation
Passengers travelling with children under 12 to pay for allocated seats from September 1st
From September 1st, one of the adults travelling on Ryanair with children under 12 will be required to reserve seats for the children at a cost of €4. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Ryanair is to force any passenger travelling with children under 12 to pay for an allocated seat from September 1st.
The airline’s policy had been to allow ticket-holders to either take a randomly allocated seat or pay an additional charge to select one.
However, from September 1st one of the adults travelling with children under 12 will be required to reserve seats for the children at a cost of €4. The payment covers all children within the family under 12.
The airline said the move was intended to avoid “boarding issues” as cabin crew try to reseat adults and children who have been separated.
Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer, said the change was to avoid disruption during boarding and would allow families to select their preferred seats when they book and ensure that they always sit with their children.
The British airline’s regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority said the seating of children close by their parents or guardians “should be the aim of airline seat allocation procedures for family groups and large parties of children”.
When asked why Ryanair was charging for a procedure that was recommended by the regulator, Mr Jacobs said requiring families to reserve seats for their children would see the airline in greater compliance with this requirement.
Image overhaul Ryanair introduced allocated seating in 2014 following in the footsteps of rival easyJet. The move was partly a reaction to Ryanair being named by Which? readers as the worst brand for customer service the previous year.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary recently promised the airline would no longer “unnecessarily piss people off” as it embarked on a major overhaul of its image and business.
Other changes included relaxing cabin bag restrictions, reducing charges and loosening booking conditions.
The airline also revamped its website, introduced a mobile app and announced plans to fly to more primary airports rather than those many miles from the cities they claimed to serve in a bid to broaden its appeal. – (Guardian)