Thursday, 6 September 2012

Easyjet introduce allocated seating.

EasyJet is to roll out allocated seating across its network after research revealed the stressful boarding process put passengers off flying with the airline. The airline been testing pre-allocated seating on selected routes over the summer and research among the 800,000 passengers on 6,000 test flights showed more than 70% felt it improved the boarding experience, with more than 60% said they were likely to use easyJet in future as a result.
EasyJet said it began the trial in April because passenger research showed that the current first-come, first-seated boarding process could be stressful for some passengers and even put people off flying with the easyJet altogether.
The key tests of the trial were to improve passenger satisfaction without impacting easyJet's ability to deliver industry leading punctuality or adding cost - all of which were achieved on trial flights, it said.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall (pictured below) added: "This is an example of easyJet trying to do all it can to make travel easy and affordable for our passengers.
"Our customers asked us to trial allocated seating and we are really pleased with the positive passenger feedback during the trial. As importantly, we have shown that we can do so while delivering strong on time performance - the most important driver of passenger satisfaction."
On trial flights, the majority of passengers were allocated seats when they checked in, with the most popular being those near the front for swift exit on arrival and the exit row seats with extra legroom.
"We are confident this move will make our current passengers happier when flying with easyJet and will attract new passengers to fly with us in future," added McCall.
Allocated seating will continue on trial flights and the service will be rolled out across the network, starting from November 13. To select a specific seat number, passengers will have to pay £3 for a standard seat, £8 for Upfront seats (rows two to five or six), and £12 for extra leg room seats.
Passengers who don't pay to select a seat will be allocated one free of charge. Passengers travelling on the same booking will be seated together wherever possible, said the airline.
Some interesting facts emerged from the trial flights:
  • On shorter journeys seat 6A was the best seller while on longer flights it was 1A 
  • On shorter journeys seat 16B was the least popular while it was 19B on longer flights 
  • Passengers preferred seats on the left hand side of the plane with seats A, B and C outselling D, E and F  
EasyJet plus! annual cardholders and Flexi Fare customers will be able to select a seat free of charge. Passengers buying Upfront or Extra Legroom seats will be first to board.