Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

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Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Jetlagged » 01 Jun 2017, 14:48

We do not use the option to pay for selecting seats. In the past I have always been able to check in the minute that the system allowed and have always been allocated seats together. For our flight last Monday I was not able to check in until Sunday and we were separated. I assumed that the reason was that we were probably some of the last to check in and the seats that we were given were the only ones available. Strangely enough, both seats would normally have come at a charge being 2C and 17E. Even more bizarre was the fact that when I took my place in 17E, the seat next to me (17F) remained empty, well until after take off anyway! So, my questions are:

1. Is this a new policy from Ryanair? It would seem to be so if comments made in a travel trade paper today are anything to go by.

if not then

2. Why allocate separate seats when it would have been possible to seat us both in row 17?


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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 02 Jun 2017, 12:17

I really don't know why they do that.
Sometimes even when you have two persons in the same booking they give you separate seats.
Before If there were two separate bookings and you did the check-in just after the other, then you sometimes were together.
Now its impossible to be together on two separate bookings without having to reserve.
They might have changed their policy so people pay for seats.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 02 Jun 2017, 12:23

Here's the clue about seating discussions that have been going on:

From http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/t ... 80869.html

I read:

'Pre-booked seats cost €2 for rows 6-15 and 18-33, €7 for rows 2 (A,B,C) to 5, and €11 for extra legroom rows 1, 2 (D,E,F) and 16-17.
Customers who do not wish to reserve seats may check in for free between four days and two hours before departure, and will be randomly assigned seats.

Passengers who do not purchase seats are not guaranteed seats together.

Children under 12 get free reserved seats, but at least one adult travelling with them needs to purchase an allocated seat in rows 18-30, the airline says.

Adults purchasing such seats are charged €4, double the standard rate.
Early check-in for passengers purchasing seats had previously been 30 days.'


Now we can understand why you are not seated together if you don't purchase a seat.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Jetlagged » 02 Jun 2017, 14:54

Ryanairmadrid wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 12:23
Here's the clue about seating discussions that have been going on:

From http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/t ... 80869.html

I read:

'Pre-booked seats cost €2 for rows 6-15 and 18-33, €7 for rows 2 (A,B,C) to 5, and €11 for extra legroom rows 1, 2 (D,E,F) and 16-17.
Customers who do not wish to reserve seats may check in for free between four days and two hours before departure, and will be randomly assigned seats.

Passengers who do not purchase seats are not guaranteed seats together.

Children under 12 get free reserved seats, but at least one adult travelling with them needs to purchase an allocated seat in rows 18-30, the airline says.

Adults purchasing such seats are charged €4, double the standard rate.
Early check-in for passengers purchasing seats had previously been 30 days.'


Now we can understand why you are not seated together if you don't purchase a seat.
Hi Ryanairmadrid

Thanks for that. We are regular travellers with Ryanair so are well versed with the rules that you have included in your post. We always book with both people on the same booking. The point that I was trying to make was that in the past we have always been allocated seats together. Now, with our latest booking we were separated. It seems from comments in the travel trade press that we are not alone in this:

"The new policy of separating travelling groups who do not PAY to choose seats is presumably also part of the service improvements? Featured yesterday on Radio 4 and confirming that we are not the only frequent travellers to be given a middle seat each, 5 rows apart"

It does seem to be a new policy and the conspiracy theorist in me says it is to try to frighten folk into paying to select seats. To be honest, we came away saying that it might be worth getting separated to have those €11 extra legroom seats allocated for free!

We will be able to check in at our normal earlier time for our next flights so we'll see what happens then.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 05 Jun 2017, 08:43

Still they're sneaky if they separate you for not purchasing a seat.
Then shouldn't do that. Plus, as if all the anciliary revenue they had was not enough.


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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairflyer » 10 Jun 2017, 16:23

No New Policy So Ryanair Member told me .... lol.
I went on Ryanair live chat yesterday has I checked in for our random free seats like I have done forever... this time and this is the first time me and my wife were split up , I was given the middle seat row 6 and she was given the middle seat row 9 .. no other passengers were sat next to us..
It is purely to sell seats.. not fair really, I ended up buying a seat next to my wife as we are flying at least 4 hrs to Gran Canaria on Tuesday.. unfortunately it seems o Leary will again put Ryanair in the media for bad practice but he will again gain from the free publicity he adores.
How I wish the seating policy was the same as yesteryear sit where you want.
I still fly Ryanair a lot each year but with other competitive airlines I seem to fly out with other airlines and back with Ryanair or vice versa.. jet 2 have been cheap of late and even monarch and easyjet had some good deals from these for later on in the year.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 12 Jun 2017, 07:51

Then they should go back to the no allocated seating, because at least you could attempt to sit together.
There must be a new seating policy so as not to sit together non-seat paying customers.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Swoosh » 22 Jun 2017, 07:38

Whilst Ryanair will say there is not a new policy in my opinion they have definitely changed how they allocate "free" seats. I have been travelling with them, several times a year, to and from Faro for the last 10 years, and have always had seats allocated side by side for my wife and I. This time I experienced the same issue as others , middle seats in different rows and to sit together I had to pay to change one. There was plenty of availability and if Ryanair hadn't changed how they allocate seats we would,in my opinion, have been allocated seats together. This looks to me as if they are going back to their old ways of squeezing additional revenue from passengers. The only way to show Ryanair we will not accept this underhand policy is to either accept seats as they are allocated or use other airlines. I have gone for the latter and my next flight is booked on Easyjet!

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 22 Jun 2017, 07:57

There is a new policy.
Various newspapers have said: Passengers who do not purchase seats are not guaranteed seats together.
And that it, as bad as it gets.
If you're travelling in 2's or 3's or 4's they will screw you up so none of you sit together. Its quite mean, but they clearly need more revenue.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Jetlagged » 22 Jun 2017, 10:06

Swoosh wrote:
22 Jun 2017, 07:38
Whilst Ryanair will say there is not a new policy in my opinion they have definitely changed how they allocate "free" seats. I have been travelling with them, several times a year, to and from Faro for the last 10 years, and have always had seats allocated side by side for my wife and I. This time I experienced the same issue as others , middle seats in different rows and to sit together I had to pay to change one. There was plenty of availability and if Ryanair hadn't changed how they allocate seats we would,in my opinion, have been allocated seats together. This looks to me as if they are going back to their old ways of squeezing additional revenue from passengers. The only way to show Ryanair we will not accept this underhand policy is to either accept seats as they are allocated or use other airlines. I have gone for the latter and my next flight is booked on Easyjet!
That's very interesting Swoosh. I was separated and then not able to buy an adjacent seat. It didn't matter as my girlfriend moved into it anyway, so we both finished up with wing exit seats. Up yours Ryanair :lol:

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairflyer » 28 Jun 2017, 17:22

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/ ... asyjet-ba/

Ryanair And Random Seating.

Ryanair On Uk Watchdog programme tonight BBC1 8pm

On our recent outbound and return flights Manchester - Gran Canaria ,,,, once boarded families and numerous people were moving from seat to seat regardless of cabin crew telling them to remain seated. This is Ryanairs own fault and this is only putting more pressure on their cabin crew.

A stupid way forward - Go back to The Good Old Days - Sit Where You Want.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Jetlagged » 28 Jun 2017, 18:04

There was a very well written post on Pprune recently by a person from within the industry. I have reposted it below with full acknowledgement to Pprune.org:

"With experience in ground operations I have never known even Ryanair to do anything so indecent and shambolic as this!

They have given no regard it would seem to the fact that...
- Passengers will just swap seats under their own account, causing chaos and unnecessary disruption during boarding
- Groups that will typically have a lead traveler maybe carrying the travel docs/boarding passes of all those in the group (meaning some pax may not have their boarding pass to hand when embarking the aircraft... possibly through the opposite door)
- The separation of passengers is likely going to attribute to a reduction of in-flight sales, where groups of friends or family sat together are more likely to make more substantial purchases (again only the "lead passenger" may possess any method of payment)
- Passengers will be clogging aircraft cabin aisles/airside ramp areas on arrival whilst waiting for their travel group

And a big pitfall also is that even if you were willing to pay to reserve seats after being separated at check-in, there's barely any adjacent seats left to choose as all the middle seats have been allocated!!

Never mind also if god forbid there were an emergency evacuation... 100+ passengers I'm sure trying to reunite with loved ones I imagine would work wonders for a max. evacuation time of 90 secs.

Would not be surprised if this becomes something that requires something like CAA intervention if nothing else. I think it should become a requirement for airlines to allocate groups together whenever possible, only separating in exceptional circumstances.

Regardless of their solid business strategy, financial performance, commendable improvements in recent years and as an airline I personally admire, they have made a big error or judgement and have gone way too far this time

I am totally and utterly disgusted by the whole thing... This will not last I guarantee, things will get too nasty I'm sure in one way or another for the airline to contend with!

Anyway, rant over! I'm sure I won't be the only one complaining though..."

Let us all hope that FR@STN is correct and that Ryanair is soon either hauled in by the CAA or simply shamed into change by the overwhelming public outcry.

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Re: Is there a new policy when allocating 'free' seats

Post by Ryanairmadrid » 08 Jul 2017, 07:28

However, something has definitely changed since now when you want a FREE seat they are not siting people together in the same booking.
And that has been checked various times and Ryanair have re-iterated that: 'Passengers who do not purchase seats are not guaranteed seats together.'
Hence they have done that to make passengers purchase seats, especially families or people traveling together.


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