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Ryanair and the new scam about 'allocated seats'

It's since December, that Ryanair has been boasting their new 'kinder' policy toward their customers/cattle. Among other things, their arrogant boss Michael O'Leary has been promising a new wonderful web site and 'fully allocated seating'.

Having been forced to the pain of flying with those rascals for years, when I first heard the news, I thought: we'll see, sounds too good, to be true.

And in fact, yet more lies, yet another scam.

The web site has slightly changed, now you can register as user and save a few  details, such as your home address. If you're a frequent flier, that's valuable, but overall, it is still confusing and misleading. For instance, no way to record your passport details and use them to check-in on line. But OK, maybe this just the begin and they'll enhance it more, let's wait and ignore the same sucking site has been here for so many years already.

But undoubtedly the 'allocated seating' thing is another LyingAir cheat. What it actually means is that you have to pay a minimum 5£, unless you want their computers to assign you a seat randomly, 7 days before taking off, i.e., to have a high chance of getting a crap seat in the middle of a 3-seat block and in a crap position, such as the last row or over the wing. Before, you could opt to go to the gate very early and race to get a good seat. Now it's impossible in practice, either you pay 5quid more, or you'll get rubbish seating. And no, there's no way to be sure of seating next to your company, unless to pay and book.

Of course, 5£ is not much, but, as usually, it's the principle, the misleading marketing and the trickery way to come to a de-facto fee increase, smuggling it for an improvement (an increase that is also cheating on the competition, since such 'optional' fees don't appear on the base flight price, a figure into which other airlines normally include true allocated seating). It's also that I strongly hate to give more money to them, being already forced to be their customers, due to the fact that their heavily occupy many small airports around Europe, taking them as their hostages and keeping their competition out, in a very unfair way.  

I've always said it, these thieves will arrogantly keep exploiting the herds, until some anti-trust authority comes to grips with them, forces them to stop their cheating policies and to release the monopole they have on entire European regions, such as the Adriatic coast in Italy.

12 comments for 'Ryanair and the new scam about 'allocated seats''

With allocated seating, you can check-in on-line up to 30 days before your flight. Without, you can't check-in on-line until 7 days before *each booked flight* (terms and conditions Article 6.1). This is important. Since most people travel for at least a week, you might end up having to check-in and print out your boarding pass while out of the country. I have a flight booked at the end of May, return. I'm not sure if I'll be able to check-in for both since they were on one booking...i'll let you know. I decided to allocate seating to avoid the issue but...the allocated seating cost more than the flight!! Notice on their fee schedule it says that regular seats are *from* £5. In this case it was £60 per. Obviously, I didn't go through with that plan. I still think Ryanair can offer a great value if you can avoid the hidden costs. That's a challenge, however, particularly when they change their policies regularly.

You can check-in the return separately, I usually do it. On a similar issue, if you happen to lose the boarding card, most airports have PC kiosks, where you can connect the RyanAir site and reprint the boarding card at the price of about 1£. But the bloody rascals at the desks will tell you to go to their assistance desk and have the card reprinted for 60£.

I think more than ever that what they offer is an insulting service, for people who either 1) have no alternative, or 2) don't understand they're being cheated and they're paying not-so-cheap for big rubbish, or 3) have too little self-respect, to think that saving a few quids isn't worth being humiliated and treated like cattle.

Hi Marco, actually the free seats allocation is not random at all. They go in a precise order, but Ryanair wouldn't tell you this, because they want to sell. I am saying this because I analysed their allocation system and it seems that they start allocation from middle to back and to front, 1 row at a time (rows: 18, 15, 19, 14, 20, 13, 21, 12, ...). When allocating the seats on a certain row (let's say 19), it goes from left to right: 19A, 19B, 19C, 19D, 19E, 19F. Of course, the premium seats are the last to be allocated, as they hope to sell them.

So, if you know the algorithm (I wrote an entire blog post about it here), it's easy to "choose a seat" by just choosing when to check-in.

By the way, I used to hate Ryanair too, but I like their recent changes.

...however, it doesn't change the terms of the question. If you don't book your seat in advance, you're likely to be allocated on a very uncomfortable seat, mainly because your seat is allocated at the very end, when all the best ones have been picked up by other passengers. Before, you could avoid the seat selection fee, go to the gate early, queue a long time and conquer your preferred seat for free.

Now you can't. OK, 5/10£ more is not much, yet saying 'free allocated seating" is not true, it's one more scam, which cheats the customers and is dishonest to the competitors. This airline is a bunch of rascals and I hate them.

just now i am trying to do a check in for just the Outbound Flight and so far so good. The return flight of course inst available up to 01/01/2015. I cannot do my check in for just the outbound. I have to purchase the seats for the return otherwise i CANNOT DO A CHECK IN... Be aware people!!! ALWAYS BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS AS ONE WAY so you can do separate check-ins. This applies for longer period trips of course ... i am sooo angry at them right now...

You cannot check-in too early (I think not before 10 days from departure). You would have been able to check-in a flight on 1/1/2015 since about 20/12/2014, not before, independently on the fact it's a return in a two-way ticket, or not.

I am disgusted with the "new" Ryanair system - what a rip off. Going on holiday for more than 6 days, what am I supposed to do? take a printer with me to print my boarding pass?

Ryanair will not allow online check-ins any earlier than seven days before travelling, which makes it very inconvenient if you then have to download and print your boarding cards at your destination. The 'solution' is to 'take advantage' of paying a minimum of 6euros per person to pre-book a seat. You are then permitted, my fellow peasants, to check-in and print your boarding card earlier, ie before you travel. This is nothing short of a cleverly-thought-out Ryanair scam and means that your original quoted flight price was a misleading lie. But those racehorses have to be funded somehow, don't they?

although at the moment, it seems they have an app where to get an electronic check-in (never tried yet). In the past, many airports have Internet kiosks with printers for a cheap price of 1-2€ (but no Ryanair employee will tell you about them).

I am trying to check in on line - if I choose to pay for a seat I can move on but if choose allocated seating nothing happens. This is unfair and robbery.

I just had the same problem with the allocated seating. It just didn't work and it said "seat out' but when I chose to pay for a seat, then suddenly I could choose between many seats. They're robbers!!!


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