easyJet Prepares to Allocate Seats

It’s been a long time coming but it seems easyJet is beginning to realise that putting the customer first is good business sense.

The airline has long been considered more friendly than its nearest competitor, Ryanair, and it seems its latest decision to allocate all seats prior to boarding is the next step.

So from November 2012 you will no longer have to face the rush to secure enough seats to allow you and your family or friends to sit together.

The change has come following a trial started in April which saw more than 800,000 passengers fly on 6,000 flights with allocated seating.

The ensuing research revealed 70% of those on the trial preferred allocated seating with a further 60% saying they would be more likely to fly with the airline as a result.

Seats will be allocated at the time of check in and the airline has pledged to seat families and groups travelling on the same booking reference together ‘wherever possible’.

Customers will also be offered the option of reserving seats at a cost with three separate price bands; £12 for front and exit row seats with additional leg room, £8 for seats up front – rows 2-5 on the A319 or rows 2-6 on the A320 – and £3 for any other seat.

If it goes to plan then it should put paid to the regular bun fight that is more commonly known as ‘boarding a no-frills flight’.

But what will be more interesting is seeing whether or not rival airline Ryanair adopts the practice, which seems unlikely given its boss Michael O’Leary’s general contempt for paying passengers.

So what do you think – is this the move we’ve all been waiting for and will it make you more likely to fly easyJet? Tell us what you think.