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Ryanair to force parents with under-12s to buy seats

By Neil Lancefield

Published 29/07/2016

Tickets: Michael O’Leary
Tickets: Michael O’Leary

Ryanair is to force passengers travelling with young children to buy a reserved seat.

Under the carrier's existing rules, all passengers can choose to save money by having their seats randomly allocated.

But the Dublin-based airline claimed this had led to "boarding issues" as crews tried to re-seat adults and children who had been separated.

From September 1, adults travelling with children under 12 years old will have to purchase a reserved seat. Children under 12, meanwhile, will receive a reserved seat free of charge.

A standard reserved seat costs £4/€4 per flight, according to Ryanair's website.

The airline's chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: "Ryanair is Europe's number one airline for families, and this summer all customers are enjoying fares 10% lower than last year.

"These changes will allow parents to save another four euros 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 always sit with their children.

"This will also prevent other customers who have chosen to purchase a seat of their own being displaced on board."

The Irish airline, run by the businessman Michael O'Leary, returned to Belfast this year and is offering routes from Aldergrove to London Gatwick, with more set to run from October.

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