The days of rushing across the airport tarmac to get the seat you want will soon be over for passengers of easyJet after it announced it will allocate each passenger a specific seat.
The move away from the current free-for-all system, which became a feature of budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair, follows trials of allocated seating on some 6,000 of the airline’s flights since April.
easyJet said it also polled passengers and found 70% think “allocated seating is better than (the) current system, due to the improved boarding experience, while more than 60% said that they are more likely to use easyJet in the future as a result.
In the past some airlines had used the free-for-all system as it was said to speed up boarding but easyJet said its trials hadn’t impacted its ability to turn aeroplanes around quickly.
“The key tests of the trial were to improve passenger satisfaction without impacting easyJet’s ability to deliver industry leading punctuality or adding cost — all of which were achieved on trial flights,” the airline said in a statement.
The new system will be introduced in November across all of easyJet’s routes and is a result of customer feedback, according to Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet.
“Allocated seating gives all our passengers a better boarding experience and offers the choice of selecting a seat to those who want to. On trial flights the majority of passengers were simply allocated seats when they checked in.
“Some passengers chose particular seats with bestselling seats usually those near the front, for those who wish to get off the aircraft quickly at their destinations, and exit row seats with their extra legroom.”
But if you wish to select a particular seat, you’ll still have to pay.
“On allocated seating flights passengers who do not wish to pay to select their seat will be allocated a seat free of charge,” easyJet said. “Passengers travelling on the same booking will be seated together wherever possible by easyJet’s reservation system.’’