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Stop Ryanair putting profit before passenger safety!

This petition had 164 supporters

This petition is aimed at politely encouraging Ryanair to amend their seating policy as we believe it is not only terrible value for money but also a threat to passenger safety.

What happened?

Previously, when booking a Ryanair flight you had the option to choose a seat on the plane for an extra fee. This was a useful feature if you wanted extra legroom and were willing to pay for it. The majority of passengers didn't use this service as they were comfortable in the knowledge that if they checked in early enough they would be seated together with their partner/family member/friend.

It is common knowledge that at some point in 2017 the Ryanair system changed the way it assigned these randomly allocated seats. You are now automatically given seats far away from your partner unless you pay whether there are seats available together or not.

Ryanair arrogantly insist that their policy hasn't changed. It hasn't. However, everyone can see that the way they implement this policy has changed and it's insulting that Ryanair think it's loyal customers can't see that.

Issue 1: Cost

The main focus of most customer complaints is the extortionate cost of sitting next to your partner on a Ryanair flight. It is possible to pay an acceptable £2 for some seats if you buy them at the same time as the ticket. The problem is there aren't many seats at that price and assuming you can afford to pay for all the extras (Ryanair just asked me for £110 to take one 15kg bag on a return flight to Gran Canaria) at the same time as your ticket it's likely that you might be one of thousands of passengers who book at short notice. In the days leading up to your flight the £2 seats will almost certainly be gone. Also if you book through a travel agent you might not have access to your flight booking until only the expensive seats are left.

My partner and I had 6 Ryanair flights booked in July 2017. On the first two flights we had two young teenagers (first time flyers) with us. I knew Ryanair would sit us separately and so was forced to pay a total of £58 to choose seats for the return flight.

Then came our flight from Liverpool to Gran Canaria. The flight time is over four hours so I thought I'd check the situation regarding sitting next to my girlfriend on this flight. Unfortunately I wasn't able to select when booking as the travel agent booked for me and I got the flight details a few days before departure. The cheapest seats were £17 and these weren't together. To sit together we had to choose row 1-3 for a total cost of £84. Of course, we didn't. I sat on row 16 and my girlfriend in row 2 (seats they would have charged us a fortune for). On the flight everyone was changing seats which slowed down boarding and offloading as everyone had bags everywhere. It also prompted complaints from the cabin crew as they were giving receipts to the seats rather than the person.

Wouldn't it have been easier to just allocate seats together?

Issue 2: Safety

In my opinion this is an even bigger issue than the price. 

Just think about it for a moment. On a Ryanair flight these days you have partners, families, mums, dads, sons, daughters all sitting apart across the entire plane. If there's an emergency situation...what happens?

Ideally everyone would follow the safety instructions and calmly get through the situation. Reality? Not a chance.

In an emergency situation there are bound to be some people from the 150+ on board that won't sit in their seat with their seatbelt fastened. They are going to want to get to their family members.

In an emergency landing situation people aren't going to calmly follow the arrows to the nearest emergency exit. They are going to want to find their loved ones and ensure they protect them. This will result in passengers scrambling in the wrong direction down the plane to get to their loved one that Ryanair decided to seat 20 rows away from them.

This is incredibly dangerous and puts everyone at risk.


We all know what Ryanair are about. They sell flights at low prices then charge extortionate amounts for baggage and other extras which often puts the total cost above their competition anyway. Sitting on a Ryanair flight is like sitting in the studio of a home shopping TV channel (The cabin manager on my flight to Gran Canaria proudly told us they had a target of €7 spend per customer on that particular flight).

That's how Ryanair have always been and it's your choice if you want to pay or not. 

This latest problem with the randomly allocated seats is not acceptable. We encourage Ryanair to seriously consider their position with this policy and stop putting passenger safety at risk.



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