The founder and chief executive of a luggage delivery service is “disappointed and angry” about research revealing how Ryanair passengers are twice as likely to be seated apart.
Adam Ewart, boss of Send My Bag, said the recent review by the Civil Aviation Authority about how airlines allocate seats to passengers has confirmed his “suspicions”.
The review included a survey which found customers were confused about airlines’ seating policies and many were worried about being separated from their group on flights.
Ewart said: “Passengers flying on Ryanair are twice as likely to be separated from their party – 18% of all flyers surveyed were separated from travelling companions if they didn’t pay to sit together, rising to 35% on Ryanair.”
Describing himself as “disappointed and angry”, he said this finding is “hardly surprising”, and added: “Ryanair has a chequered history of exploiting loyal customers with a long list of ancillary charges.
“This has now been proven to include separating families and friends unless they pay extra to travel together.
“Ryanair has essentially offered its customers the offer to ‘pick the seat you’d like for a fee’, when in reality they mean to say ‘pay us or else we’ll give you the worst seats’.”
Ewart said many US airlines made the situation clearer for passengers, as they have a lower fare for those who booked less desirable seats, boarded last or had no hand luggage.
“In light of these latest CAA survey findings, Ryanair must take more responsibility,” concluded Ewart.
“I would advise customers to go through the entire booking process of more than one airline and make an informed decision based on what the final total costs are against the services included and how important they are.”
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