Money-making ploy?

RYANAIR have devised another underhand, dirty trick to attempt to extract money from long suffering passengers.

When booking a recent flight for my wife and myself, I was offered the opportunity to pre-book seats for four pounds each. I declined and the site said seats would be ‘allocated at random’.

On completion of the booking I was asked again by the system whether I wanted to change seats, especially if I didn’t like sitting in the middle of a row.

I checked our allocation and found we had middle row seats 14 rows apart! At the time of booking, the seats on each side of both our allocated seats were vacant, as were many other rows.

I resisted the attempt to squeeze more money from us and paid the flight cost and for a necessary 20kg hold baggage, without priority boarding and seat change fees.

When we boarded the flight and occupied our allotted seats both my wife and myself had empty seats beside us!

Seats ‘allocated at random’? Really...who are they kidding?

Paul GALPIN, Vaucluse

Ryanair responded:

Customers who do not wish to purchase a seat are randomly allocated a seat, free of charge. Customers can purchase their preferred allocated seat from just £2 and can now check in up to 60 days out.

Ryanair recently lowered its check-in bag fees from €/£35 to €/£25 while increasing the standard baggage size from 15kg to 20kg.

When a customer does not purchase a seat, they are randomly allocated a seat. Random means random and the algorithm changes on each flight and each route by reference to demands for (£2) reserved seats.

The reason for more middle seats being allocated is that more and more passengers are taking our reserved seats and these customers overwhelmingly prefer aisle and window seats – which is why people who choose random seats are more likely to be allocated middle seats.

Some ‘random seat’ customers are confused by the appearance of empty seats beside them when they check-in up to four days prior to departure. The reason they can’t have these window or aisle seats is that these are more likely to be selected by reserved seat customers, many of whom only check-in 24 hours prior to departure.

Since our current load factor is 96%, we have to keep these window and aisle seats free to facilitate those customers who are willing to pay for them. This is entirely a matter of customer choice.

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