Ryanair announced that from 1st September it will be mandatory for adults travelling with children under-12 to purchase a reserved seat, but those children under-12 will receive free of charge reserved seats.
Ryanair is introducing this initiative after a busy summer when most of its flights were full (94% load factor), but many adults travelling with young children did not select reserved seats and accordingly were randomly allocated seats that were not together (due to the large number of Ryanair customers who are already reserving their preferred seats).
This caused boarding issues as crews tried to re-seat customers with young children. Ryanair’s crews cannot move customers who have already paid for their preferred seats simply to accommodate other customers who are travelling with young children, who declined to reserve their seats and chose to have their seats randomly allocated.
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: “Ryanair is Europe’s number one airline for families and this summer all customers are enjoying fares that are 10% lower than last year. That’s a €4 saving on every flight and these changes will allow parents to save another €4 for every one of their children travelling together.
It will also allow families to select their preferred seats at the time of booking, check-in for their flights up to 30 days prior to departure and fly safe in the knowledge that they are getting Europe’s lowest air fares, while ensuring that they always sit with their children. This will also prevent other customers who have chosen to purchase a seat of their own from being displaced onboard.”