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EasyJet allocated seating starts Tuesday

Photo from easyjet.com

Low-cost airline easyJet is moving away from its open seating policy and will start allocating seats on Tuesday.

EasyJet will start allocating seats on all of its more than 1,000 daily flights from Tuesday. The airline tested the new system during the busy summer season, with nearly 2 million passengers flying on 12,500 flights offering allocated seating.

From November 27, all passengers will be automatically assigned a seat when checking in but will have the choice of selecting a specific seat for a supplementary fee.

Seats with extra legroom are available for £12 while front seats (2-5 on A319 and 2-6 on A320) are available for   £8. Passengers wanting to select any other seats can pay an extra £3.

After carrying out passenger research which showed that the boarding process could be a source of stress for some customers, the British carrier decided to test the system.

Among the passengers who have traveled in flights offering allocated seats, 71 percent believe that allocated seating improves the boarding experience, while 60 percent say they are more likely to fly with easyJet in the future as a result.

The research has also shown that on shorter journeys, seat 6A was the preferred seat, while 1A was the best seller on longer flights. The least popular seat on shorter flights was 16B with 19B the least popular for longer flights. The survey also shows that passengers prefer seating on the left-hand side of the plane with seats A, B and C outselling D, E and F.

Luton-based easyJet was founded in 1995 and since then it has expanded to become Europe’s first low-cost airline. Currently the carrier owns a fleet of more than 200 aircraft, operating over 600 routes across 30 countries and reached the 55 million passenger mark in 2011.

AFP Relax || 27 Nov. 2012

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