Ryanair set to introduce allocated seats

Ryanair has announced that they intend to introduce allocated seating on all their flights starting from the beginning of February 2014. The budget airline is thought to have made the decision following a host of complaints from passengers who are sick of having to queue at the departure gates to ensure they are sitting next to who they are travelling with.

From February, anyone who wishes to choose their own seat at the time of booking will have to pay £5 per passenger per flight, but if they choose not to do this they will be allocated one one by the airline for no charge. Passengers can currently reserve a seat with Ryanair but at £10 each many are choosing to queue instead of paying this surcharge.

Ryanair have said in a statement that their decision to bring back allocated seating is a direct response to the huge demand for this service which passenger have asked for via the ‘Tell MOL’ initiative for customer feedback. It went onto say that decision to become a fully allocated seating airline is part of their continuing commitment to listen to what their customers want.

This move is just the latest in a series of improvements and initiatives which are seeing as being aimed at improving the public image of Ryanair. The news will come as a surprise to some as the chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said only last month on a Q&A session on Twitter that he had no plans to introduced allocated seating, He said that this could make boarding slower, with the resulting possibility of delays.

Other changes which Ryanair have announced in recent weeks includes a grace period of 24 hours after booking allowing passengers to change errors such as spelling mistakes for free. On all their flights that take off before 8am and after 9pm the only public announcements made are essential safety messages and the lights of the cabin are dimmed to enable any passengers who wish to have a nap to be able to do so without any bright lights.