EasyJet to roll out assigned seating for all flights
EasyJet has announced it is introducing allocated seating across all its flights from this November. The budget airline has been trialling the new policy since April and says the change comes as a result of customer feedback, which indicated that boarding is too stressful. Currently, EasyJet seat allocation works on a “first come, first served” basis on boarding, frequently resulting in pushing matches amongst passengers and meaning friends and family are often unable to sit together. Of the 800,000 trial customers surveyed, 70% voiced a preference for the new system.
Under the new approach, those who pay extra will be assigned their chosen seats when booking, while everyone else will be assigned theirs at check in. Passengers will be charged £12 for extra leg room, £8 to sit up front (rows 2 to 5 or 6) and £3 for any other seat. Meanwhile, speedy boarding (where passengers are able to board prior to other passengers) will be isolated to season ticket holders and those in possession of a £12 or £8 allocated seat.
EasyJet’s trial also showed that, while most passengers opted for the free seat allocation at check in, the minority who elected to choose their seats favoured the left hand side of the plane, and seats 1A and 6A, at the front, were the most popular.
Carolyn McCall, EasyJet’s chief executive, said: “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 leg room.”