The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigates the principles of placing passengers in a number of airlines. The reason was a large number of complaints from travelers who were taken from their family or children or asked to pay an additional fee to sit next to them.
The CAA report, which takes into account the testimonies of 14,000 airline customers, showed that one in five passengers was separated from members of the family or group. Slightly more than half of the respondents said that they were warned about an additional fee before booking a flight. 10% claim that they were informed about this only after buying tickets. Another 10% said that no one warned them about additional expenses. Six out of ten passengers agree to pay more to avoid seating apart.
Is it permissible for airlines to charge passengers with an additional fee for neighboring seats?
The simple answer - yes. However, CAA is going to investigate whether airlines correctly inform customers about additional fees, and most importantly, at what stage of the journey. According to CAA, passengers pay up to £390 million annually for preferred seats. At the same time, two thirds pay from £5 to £30 for each allocated space, and 8% pay more than £30.
Andrew Haines, executive director of CAA, said: "The practice of accommodating passengers creates confusion, and airlines have the right to demand additional fees for accommodation in the salon, but in this case everything should be extremely clear and fair for customers. Our research showed that some passengers pay money for neighboring seats, although in fact it is not necessary, and we want to investigate whether all members of the same group always sit side by side, if there is such opportunity "
If you have a small child.
If an adult passenger flies with a child, the airline must make every effort to place them next to each other. Ideally, children should sit side by side with their parents or guardian. If this is not possible, no more than one row is allowed between them. The strictness of the rules is related to the fact that in a case of an emergency the parent must reach his child as quickly as possible.
British Airways offers customers a free choice of seats 24 hours before the flight. Those who travel with an infant or child under the age of 12 can choose their seats at the time of booking a ticket. Representatives of the company Flybe argue that they always try to put the whole group together, especially if it includes young children. They also recommend an additional fee for the guarantee. Ryanair states that customers who do not pay for reservation of seats will be placed randomly. One adult can reserve the closest places for four children for £4.
Each airline has its own proposals regarding seating arrangements. Many of them provide neighboring seats for parents and children. However, before booking tickets, you should always ask about additional fees.