Flights to timeshare resorts in Europe have never been easier to book or more affordable, thanks to the low cost airlines such as easyJet. Now the airline is introducing pre-allocated seating across its network from November 13 onwards, following successful trials on selected flights over the summer.
EasyJet’s research among 800,000 passengers on 6,000 test flights revealed that more than 70% felt it did improve the boarding experience and over 60% said they were likely to use easyJet in future because of it.
Trials began in April after passenger research showed that the first-come, first-seated boarding process could be stressful for some passengers.
The trials looked to improve passenger satisfaction without affecting easyJet’s reputation for punctuality or adding extra costs. The airline will allocate a specific seat to every passenger in advance, but passengers can also pay £3 for a standard seat, £8 for front rows (called “upfront” seats) or £12 for an exit seat with extra leg room.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "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. In addition, easyJet plus! annual cardholders and Flexi Fare customers can select a seat free of charge. Passengers buying Upfront or Extra Legroom seats will be first to board.
Carolyn McCall added: "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."
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.
For routes, fares and new winter destinations, visit www.easyjet.com