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easyJet to Replace Mad Rush with Allocated Seating

On your mark, get set, go! If you’ve ever boarded an easyJet flight, you know what the race is like to find a good seat. Starting on 13 November, however, that will (thankfully) be a thing of the past, as the company will offer free allocated seating to passengers.

All passengers will get an allocated seat and those travelling on the same booking will be seated together wherever possible, according to the airline. 

As you might expect, choosing your seat in advance will come with a price tag -- a standard seat is £3, an upfront seat (rows 2-5 or six) is £8, and a seat with extra legroom is £12. easyJet plus! cardholders and Flexi fare customers can select seats free of charge. 

“This is an example of easyJet trying to do all it can to make travel easy and affordable for our passengers,” said Carolynn McCall, chief executive of easyJet.

The trials began in April after passenger research showed that the current scramble-for-seats boarding process was stressful for some passengers and even turned people off flying with the budget airline altogether. Pre-allocated seating was tested on 6,000 flights on select routes and more than 70% of the 800,000 passengers involved felt it improved the boarding experience. More than 60% said they were likely to fly with the company again as a result. easyJet officials said the trial improved passenger satisfaction, but didn’t affect punctuality or costs.

“We are confident this move will make our current passengers happier when flying with easyJet and will attract new passengers to fly with us in future,” added McCall.

In a bit of a PR coup, the news comes at the same time as Ryanair’s CEO, Michael Leary, had a public rant about his passengers after a woman Tweeted about her costly experience with the airline. Suzy McLeod was travelling in Spain when she arrived for a return flight to the UK without printed boarding cards and had to pay £236 worth of fees. Her complaint about the charges gained more than 500,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook combined.    

Here are some selected routes and when allocated seating will begin:

  • London Gatwick to Dubrovnik… 13 November
  • Glasgow to Geneva… 13 November
  • London Gatwick to Barcelona… 20 November
  • Manchester to Athens… 27 November
  • Manchester to Berlin Schoenefeld… 27 November
  • Birmingham to Geneva… 27 November
  • Edinburgh to Munich… 27 November

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Manchester
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
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Annemarie Kropf