Easyjet is to roll out allocated seating across its network from this November, following a successful trial on selected routes.
The carrier launched the trial in April this year (see online news March 27), with over 800,000 passengers flying on 6,000 trial services.
The airline said that research among these passengers showed that over 70 per cent think allocated seating “is better than Easyjet’s current system, due to the improved boarding experience”, while over 60 per cent said they would be more likely to use the carrier in the future as a result.
Easyjet says that the key tests of the trial were achieved, with improved passenger satisfaction, no impact on punctuality, no negative impact on cost per seat, and revenue which matches or exceeds the carrier’s existing Speedy Boarding service.
Announcing the move CEO Carolyn McCall 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 legroom.”
Easyjet will continue the allocated seating system already in place on existing trial flights, with the service rolling out across the network as follows:
- Services to/from Gatwick South, Luton, Stansted, Southend, Bristol and Glasgow from November 13
- Services to/from Gatwick North, Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino and Paris Charles de Gaulle from November 20
- Services to/from Belfast, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Basel, Geneva, Lyon, Nice, Toulouse, Paris Orly, Madrid, Lisbon and Berlin Schönefeld from November 27
Going forward all passengers will be allocated seats on their flights, with the option to upgrade to a paid-for choice of seat, at £12 for extra leg room seats, £8 for up front seats (rows two-five on the carrier’s A319 aircraft and two-six on its A320s), and £3 for any other seat.
Easyjet said that where passengers choose not to pay for a specific allocated seat, families and other groups travelling together on the same booking reference would be seated together "wherever possible".
The carrier also released seating popularity results from the trial, showing that seat 6A was the best selling allocated seat on shorter journeys, with 1A being most popular on longer flights.
The least popular seats were 16B on shorter journeys and 19B on longer flights. Seats on the left hand side of the aircraft were also more popular than those on the right.
For more information visit easyjet.com.
Report by Mark Caswell