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Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Galston, Ayrshire
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1,928 posts
15 reviews
21 helpful votes
Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Since there have been lots of threads on this subject but not a lot of answers I thought I would share my experience of the new check-in system.

My flight is from Prestwick to Faro on 14.05.14 returning on 21.05.14. The first thing is that you can login to your flight and put your API details in up to 30 days in advance whether or not you intend to check-in. This saves time when you check-in later.

I decided to take a chance on the 7 day free allocated seats. You login to your flight and you are faced with two options, Purchase an allocated seat or free randomly allocated seat. If you chose the second option then it will tell you the date you can check-in. In my case this was 7.05.14. There is a lot of debate about when in the day you can do this so I tried on the 7th at just after midnight even though my flight is at 16:40 it allowed me to check-in. This is great because if you are on a 7 day holiday you can check-in your return flight on the day you leave, saving you paying for a return seat or printing a boarding pass when you are away.

Before I had tried the free option I clicked on the purchase option to see what seats had already been taken. Only 16 out of the 198 seats had been allocated so their take-up of the charges is poor. I did this to see if there was availability of seats together. I should also point out that the seats would cost me £10 each for this flight and £15 for the premium ones.

So I came back out of this option and chose the free seats. You do not get any choice and neither do you know which seats you get until you have completed the process and view / print your boarding cards. We got seats 18D and 18E which are together and I believe the row behind the premium exit seats. This disproves that Satan's Airline would deliberately put one person in the hold and the other outside on the wing if you don't pay up.

Sorry if this is long winded but these are the answers to questions that may help others decide whether to pay or not.

My summary is that if you want to take a chance on the free allocated seats, check-in as early as you can to try and get seated together, but IF it is important for your family or group to get seated together then bite the bullet and pay the price. It also suggests that they fill the plane from the middle first.

215 replies to this topic
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
254 posts
35 reviews
13 helpful votes
11. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Hi, I am not sure about how it will work with Ryanair, but some airlines that have the paid seat choice will board those first calling out the seat numbers and then the rest afterwards, but if Ryanair allocate you your seats even if you don't pay then maybe you will have to take your chance with the scrum! which seems a bit unfair if you pay for a seat you should get boarded first.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
42,632 posts
62 reviews
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12. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

I've never flown with an airline that boards people who pay first. There's no scrum when all seats are allocated, unless people decide to behave like tourists lol.

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
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18,236 posts
423 reviews
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13. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Carol H

With FR,those who have paid for the "expensive" seats at £10 or £15 get Priority Boarding included.Those who pay the £5 to chose their seats have the option of paying an extra £2 to include Priority Boarding otherwise they are in the other queue.

The other advantage of PB queue is that is where the counting starts for the "first 90 cabin baggage"

SS

manchester
Level Contributor
464 posts
42 reviews
46 helpful votes
14. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

This will be our first flight with Ryanair and we have paid £15 each which I understand includes priority boarding, the post above mine by 'silverswimmer' mentions PB queue and the other queue, do they call you out to join the queues or do people just start to queue? Not really bothered about a scrum just want to be prepared. Any advice will be apprieciated.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
254 posts
35 reviews
13 helpful votes
15. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Hi, Jet 2 who we have used for a couple of years now, call out seat numbers x to x board now then x to x and then when the paid seats have boarded the rest are allowed to board as they are not allocated a seat so they help themselves.

We did find that some who hadn't paid for a seat were trying to sneak through with the people with a paid seat choice, but usually they get stopped and made to wait apart from one man and his family last year who were trying to knock 2 of our sons who have some disabilities out of the way to get past the airport staff who were boarding people.

It is a while since using Ryanair or Easyjet, we stopped using Easyjet for a while as they stopped offering as many flight choices to such as Alicante, we like the early morning out and afternoon home bound they put the prices up and they seemed to have the flights the opposite way around which wastes part of your holiday. We are going to Tenerife in July 2015 so want an early morning mid week flight out and a night or evening flight home mid week so may have to use 2 airlines which will be difficult re the different baggage weight and size rules, but maybe we will be lucky and get cheap flights the right days and times lol we will pay for paid seat choice as with some of the family having disabilities we all 6 like to sit together.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
42,632 posts
62 reviews
95 helpful votes
16. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

I use Jet2 for most flights. Like lots of airlines they board by row number. It's got nothing to do with who's paid to prebook seats.

Edited: 09 May 2014, 13:50
Galston, Ayrshire
Level Contributor
1,928 posts
15 reviews
21 helpful votes
17. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

Can't disagree with much of what you say Bromsgrove especially the scrum. The only reason I checked-in after midnight was that I was up anyway. I know that's not practical if you have an early return flight. Because my return flight is at 16:40 I will check-in the morning I leave and see how I get on. As I said, if it is life or death that you want seated together then you should pay.

All I was trying to say that I doubt they deliberately try to sit you apart and the take up of their paid seats with a week to go was pitiful, so not much profit in it.

Also Ryanair is the only airline that flies within 15 minutes from my home meaning transport is more readily available to me also the prices are usually below the rest and so far they have never let me down so I will continue to fly with them.

Having said that I am not using them to Alicante in September because the flight times are hopeless, this is one area I am fussy on.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
254 posts
35 reviews
13 helpful votes
18. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

A Jet 2 person told me those who had paid for a seat were boarded first, does this mean they were fibbing to get people to pay for seat choice? I know there were some people complaining who got on the plane last saying they were unhappy with the seats they ended up with and wanted to sit together and that there was no room in the lockers for their bags, and the stewardess said well if you had paid for a seat you would have got the seats you wanted and been able to put your case in the locker before the others, and there were empty seats around the passengers who were boarded first and then when we were all seated other passengers came on going in both directions to the front and back of the plane. So I presumed seat choice had been boarded first but If that's not the case then I must be mistaken. But whoever we fly with Ryanair or Jet2 or Easyjet or Monarch we will choose our seats so we know we will be together.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
42,632 posts
62 reviews
95 helpful votes
19. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

They don't board people who pay for seats first. It would be chaos. They board by row number so there aren't endless queues of people in the aisles waiting for people to stow their carry ons, and in some cases for people who for some inexplicable reason can't seem to find their seats! It just speeds up the boarding process. I always book seats with every airline, and have never been boarded first for that reason. Booking seats certainly doesn't mean you'll get a locker above your seat for your carry on. Ours has often been several rows away, which is why I always lock it.

Not prebooking does often mean you won't be sat together, as the online check in system allocates seats at random, but you can pay to change them. If you wait until airport check in you've no idea where you'll be sat until you get your boarding passes.

Travelling The World
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for Alghero, Melton Mowbray, Elora
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20. Re: Ryanair's new seating policy my experience

"Sadly, I imagine that even with allocated seating there will still be a scrum for boarding as people will want to 'bag' the limited cabin storage."

That's a thing of the past too as Ryanair only allows 90 bags into the cabin. One of the advantages of priority boarding (included with the Premium seats and available for a fee but only if you pay for one of the regular seats) is that you are guaranteed to keep your bag in the cabin.

Of course this is a way for Ryanair to make more profit. What's wrong with that? They are a profit-making company. Look at what BA charges for seats. And since with BA you can only check in 24 hours ahead, unless you can get to the internet at T-24 for your return flight, you either need to pay their fee to choose a seat or risk being left with the worst seats on the plane.

As I have pointed out before, my next flight with Ryanair cost £60 return including seats. The next best option was connecting flights at £250. Of course I'm going to choose FR and not moan about the extra £10 when I am saving £190 overall.

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