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Ryanair - New reserved seating structure(s)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,174 ✭✭✭ kingshankly


    £40 extra to select seats, 30 minute flight. Kids are 11 & 14, I will save my £40 tyvm now that I know Ryanair will seat a party together if you check in early enough

    At that age it's ok but someone say with a 3 and 5 year old there's no way I'd chance it regardless of price which will still be cheaper than any other airline


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭ legendary.xix


    My two flights last week were good and positive. Even with assigned seating, some people still like to get on the plane early and be seated with their bag overhead out of the way. Understandable enough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,420 ✭✭✭✭ athtrasna


    I thought it was funny flying to Gatwick last week that ours was the only Ryanair gate in the area where there was a queue of over 100 people before the boarding call. Any of the other gates around us saw people get up at the call but no queues...just small groups here and there. Maybe it's a London thing


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,848 ✭✭✭ grimm2005


    athtrasna wrote: »
    I thought it was funny flying to Gatwick last week that ours was the only Ryanair gate in the area where there was a queue of over 100 people before the boarding call. Any of the other gates around us saw people get up at the call but no queues...just small groups here and there. Maybe it's a London thing

    Nah, happened to me when I was flying to Krakow in February, I just joined in at the end a few minutes before boarding :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    I also don't like to pay £5 for a seat but still want to travel together with my group, so I searched for a way to do it! And since I didn't found a clear answer... I decided to analyse the Ryanair's "random seat allocation"!

    Here's what I found:
    1. The seats are NOT randomly allocated, but they follow a certain rule.
    2. The system allocates seats in an (almost) continuous manner. The allocation starts from the middle of the plane (Premium rows 16&17 excluded, of course) and continues towards back and towards front, 1 row at a time: 18, 15, 19, 14, 20, 13, 21, 12, etc.
    3. When allocating the seats on a certain row (let's say 19), it goes from left to right: 19A, 19B, 19C, 19D, 19E, 19F.
    4. I've seen many cases in which the system skipped one place (like 19F), and allocated 2 consecutive seats on the next available row (14A and 14B). I assume this happened for not breaking up families or persons travelling on the same reservation.
    5. The premium seats plus rows 6 and 29 are the last ones to be allocated for free.

    So, if you want to seat in the middle, do the check-in as soon as possible (15 days before departure).
    If you want to seat together, just try to identify which is the "current row" and see if there are enough unallocated seats on it. Is so, book ASAP. If not, just wait for others to check-in and fill that row, and you do the check-in when the system will start allocating seats on a new row.

    These are my findings. If you are interested in more details, you can read the full analysis published on the LowCostRoutes blog (sorry but I'm not allowed publish links here), but I summarised the most important things above.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,403 ✭✭✭✭ A Dub in Glasgo


    The above tallies with my check in about 14.5 days in advance, I got row 15


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    Yes, of course, they start right after 16&17, meaning with rows 18 and 15. Sorry, this is a copy/paste mistake (I took the rows list from the article)! Thanks for pointing this out!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,848 ✭✭✭ grimm2005


    Sounds about accurate to me too, I checked in for my upcoming flight (next week) about 1 - 2 days after check-in opened and got aisle seat in row 15 (one above middle exit row). So I guess they give out all the "worst" seats first (ones that will get you off the plane slower and not offer any leg room benefits) probably to entice the buyer to go back and purchase a seat closer to one of the exits.

    So I guess if you're not bothered being seated together or are traveling alone it probably makes the most sense to check in as late as possible to increase the chances of a premium seat or at least something close to an exit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭ lc180


    grimm2005 wrote: »
    Sounds about accurate to me too, I checked in for my upcoming flight (next week) about 1 - 2 days after check-in opened and got aisle seat in row 15 (one above middle exit row). So I guess they give out all the "worst" seats first (ones that will get you off the plane slower and not offer any leg room benefits) probably to entice the buyer to go back and purchase a seat closer to one of the exits. .

    I checked in for my flights this weekend as soon as online check-in opened and both flights are row 15. Looks like your theory is pretty accurate.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    This post has been deleted.
    Strange, I was expecting row 18 or 15 for sequence #3 and #4. Do you happen to remember which seats were already allocated on rows 18 & 15 (if you checked it)?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,420 ✭✭✭✭ athtrasna


    lucian_lcr wrote: »
    Strange, I was expecting row 18 or 15 for sequence #3 and #4. Do you happen to remember which seats were already allocated on rows 18 & 15 (if you checked it)?

    Perhaps someone had paid for the other seats?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    That's why I asked! But I doubt someone would pay for rows 15&18, which are generally considered bad (even if I prefer them)!

    I just checked some Ryanair flights on 16 Apr (in 15 days from now), and the only regular seats allocated in the center of the cabin are:
    - 18A, 18B
    - 18A-F
    - 18A, 18B
    - 18B, 18C ?
    - 18A, 18B

    So, all these respect my theory above, even if in one case they allocated 18 B&C and left 18A free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    lucian_lcr wrote: »
    I also don't like to pay £5 for a seat but still want to travel together with my group, so I searched for a way to do it! And since I didn't found a clear answer... I decided to analyse the Ryanair's "random seat allocation"!

    Here's what I found:
    1. The seats are NOT randomly allocated, but they follow a certain rule.
    2. The system allocates seats in an (almost) continuous manner. The allocation starts from the middle of the plane (Premium rows 16&17 excluded, of course) and continues towards back and towards front, 1 row at a time: 19, 14, 20, 13, 21, 12, etc.
    3. When allocating the seats on a certain row (let's say 19), it goes from left to right: 19A, 19B, 19C, 19D, 19E, 19F.
    4. I've seen many cases in which the system skipped one place (like 19F), and allocated 2 consecutive seats on the next available row (14A and 14B). I assume this happened for not breaking up families or persons travelling on the same reservation.
    5. The premium seats plus rows 6 and 29 are the last ones to be allocated for free.

    So, if you want to seat in the middle, do the check-in as soon as possible (15 days before departure).
    If you want to seat together, just try to identify which is the "current row" and see if there are enough unallocated seats on it. Is so, book ASAP. If not, just wait for others to check-in and fill that row, and you do the check-in when the system will start allocating seats on a new row.

    These are my findings. If you are interested in more details, you can read the full analysis published on the LowCostRoutes blog (sorry but I'm not allowed publish links here), but I summarised the most important things above.

    Fair play Detective lucian lcr. That definitely tallies with my recent experiences with them, regarding where I sit and when I check in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    Thank you all for your confirmations of my theory.

    According to my observations, Ryanair often try not to split people that check-in together, by allocating 2 seats on a new row, when a group of 2 check-in and there is only one seat available on the current row. I can't tell though if this is valid only for families (couples or adults+ babies), or also for friends (like persons with different family name) travelling together.

    Does any of you travelled in a non-family group? Were you allocated seats on the same or on different rows? If they were on the same row, do you remember their letters(A to F)?

    Thanks again for your help!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,199 ✭✭✭ languagenerd


    Agree with your theory too - my friend and I checked in (separate bookings) the night before we travelled. For outbound flight, we were towards the front with free priority boarding and on our return, 4 days later, we got 9 and 23 (both about 6 rows from the middle). We were wondering why we were so far apart on the return considering we checked in one after the other, but this explains it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭ Gatica


    lucian_lcr wrote: »
    I also don't like to pay £5 for a seat but still want to travel together with my group, so I searched for a way to do it! And since I didn't found a clear answer... I decided to analyse the Ryanair's "random seat allocation"!

    Here's what I found:
    1. The seats are NOT randomly allocated, but they follow a certain rule.
    2. The system allocates seats in an (almost) continuous manner. The allocation starts from the middle of the plane (Premium rows 16&17 excluded, of course) and continues towards back and towards front, 1 row at a time: 19, 14, 20, 13, 21, 12, etc.
    3. When allocating the seats on a certain row (let's say 19), it goes from left to right: 19A, 19B, 19C, 19D, 19E, 19F.
    4. I've seen many cases in which the system skipped one place (like 19F), and allocated 2 consecutive seats on the next available row (14A and 14B). I assume this happened for not breaking up families or persons travelling on the same reservation.
    5. The premium seats plus rows 6 and 29 are the last ones to be allocated for free.

    So, if you want to seat in the middle, do the check-in as soon as possible (15 days before departure).
    If you want to seat together, just try to identify which is the "current row" and see if there are enough unallocated seats on it. Is so, book ASAP. If not, just wait for others to check-in and fill that row, and you do the check-in when the system will start allocating seats on a new row.

    These are my findings. If you are interested in more details, you can read the full analysis published on the LowCostRoutes blog (sorry but I'm not allowed publish links here), but I summarised the most important things above.

    Thank you for this info. Would be very useful to many I'm sure!


  • Registered Users Posts: 697 mambo


    Can anyone confirm whether or not, if you don't like the seats you are allocated for any reason, you can then choose to pay the extra to choose seats? Or is it too late at that stage?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭ Gatica


    There was definitely a post (not sure if in this thread, didn't check) that said they had just opted to pay for seat selection when they didn't like the assigned seats...


  • Registered Users Posts: 380 ✭✭ ScottSF


    Great to see some real examples of the seat assignment algorithm so we can at least be a bit prepared. From what I am reading it is best to
    1) Check in early, but perhaps not TOO early if you want to be near the front or back of the plane.
    2) If you don't like your auto-assigned seats, you DO have the opportunity to pay for a different seat at check-in time.

    Is that accurate?

    The one feature I hope they add is the ability to set seating preference in your Ryanair account profile. Most airlines at least let you select whether you prefer a "Window" or "Aisle" seat, though not guaranteed of course. So far on Ryanair my wife and I were auto-assigned the Window and Middle when we prefer the Aisle and Middle so we can more easily get up without disturbing our seat mate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭ Gatica


    ScottSF wrote: »
    The one feature I hope they add is the ability to set seating preference in your Ryanair account profile. Most airlines at least let you select whether you prefer a "Window" or "Aisle" seat, though not guaranteed of course. So far on Ryanair my wife and I were auto-assigned the Window and Middle when we prefer the Aisle and Middle so we can more easily get up without disturbing our seat mate.

    Maybe, but I can see them seeing that as giving a choice on seating and therefore coming under the charging rather than free category.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    1. Actually if you want to be near the front or back of the plane, you should check-in late, but not too late (like 2-3 days before departure)! This is because the early check-ins get seats in the middle of the aircraft. As the plane gets filled, the allocates seats will be closer and closer to the exits, but if you do it too late, you risk on not finding 2 seats together, so you may be assigned one in the front and one in the back, which I don't think is what you want, right?

    In order to get a window seat, try this (quoting from the full analysis I published on my blog):
    Keep in mind that seats are allocated on a “per row” basis, and inside a row, they are allocated from left to right (from A to F). So, you just have to wait till there are 5 seats taken in the current row (A to E), and immediately after that, you can do the check-in. This way you will get the F seat of that row (next to the right window)! Alternatively, you can wait for it to be taken, too, and you get the A seat of the next row (next to the left window).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,955 ✭✭✭ mattser


    I will only take aisle seat. This means I can't take a chance...I have to buy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ lucian_lcr


    Well, you can take a chance and if it goes wrong, you can always pay for a reassigned seat! Just follow the logic described by me above, thinking that the aisle seats are C&D. So, identify the "current allocation row" and wait till you see that on it, only the A&B seats are taken and do the check-in ASAP. Does it make sense?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,955 ✭✭✭ mattser


    lucian_lcr wrote: »
    Well, you can take a chance and if it goes wrong, you can always pay for a reassigned seat! Just follow the logic described by me above, thinking that the aisle seats are C&D. So, identify the "current allocation row" and wait till you see that on it, only the A&B seats are taken and do the check-in ASAP. Does it make sense?

    I see what you mean. Lucian.


  • Registered Users Posts: 255 ✭✭ TOMs WIFE


    if a 4yr old kid got put next to me because its parent didn't pay the extra fee I'd go mental - especially if I PAID for a specific seat!


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,403 ✭✭✭✭ A Dub in Glasgo


    Well, unless you move, there is nothing you can do!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 255 ✭✭ TOMs WIFE


    Well, unless you move, there is nothing you can do!

    Hope my elbow doesn't get lodged in it. But that would be the responsibility of Ryanair putting an infant beside me without it's responsible adult wouldn't it....!


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