Ryanair to introduce allocated seatingNew seating plans in response to customer feedback

04 November 2013


Ryanair has announced plans to offer fully allocated seating on all flights from 1 February 2014. The new system aims to make the boarding process smoother and will ensure that families and groups can sit together.

The change is the latest in a raft of announcements from the airline aimed at improving the passenger experience.

Ryanair reserved seating

Passengers booking flights with Ryanair will still be able to reserve specific seats on-board for a fee (5 euros), including front and over-wing seats, as long as they check in online more than 24 hours prior to departure. Remaining seats will be allocated to other passengers during the 24 hours prior to the date of departure.

In a statement, Ryanair said the return to allocation seating was the airlines response to ‘the enormous demand from our customers in recent weeks via Ryanair’s “Tell MOL” customer feedback initiative.’ They say that the move is part of the airline's ‘commitment to listen to its customers’.

Ryanair customer satisfaction

In September, Which? revealed that Ryanair was voted the worst brand for customer service. The customer satisfaction survey, which looked at the UK’s 100 biggest brands, saw Ryanair at the bottom of the table, 32 places behind no-frills airline rival EasyJet.

The airline also sits bottom of our most recent annual airline survey. Results from a new survey are due at the end of the year and we have asked respondents about Ryanair’s planned changes.

Ryanair changes

The move to allocated seating is part of wider changes announced by the airline on 25 October 2013, and include:

  • Passengers will be allowed to carry a second carry-on bag onto the aircraft from 1 December 2013. This bag, no bigger than 35x20x20cm, will mean passengers with small handbags or airport shopping bags will no longer be penalised if they are unable to fit everything into one bag.
  • From 5 January 2014, Ryanair’s standard airport baggage fees will also be cut from £60 to £30 for those using the airline’s bag drop desks.
  • From 1 November 2013 ‘quiet flights’ will operate before 8am and after 9pm, where the cabin lights will be dimmed for the duration of the flight and there will be no on-board announcements made, other than security information.
  • A grace period will be introduced allowing customers to correct minor errors made during the online booking process without behind charged. These corrections, such as spelling, name and routing changes, are restricted to bookings made direct on the Ryanair website, but give passengers a 24-hour window to correct any mistakes.

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