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Old Mar 21, 12, 3:24 am   #1
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Ryanair probed for charging passengers extra to sit in emergency row seats

Fox: Ryanair probed for charging passengers extra to sit in emergency row seats

Is this illegal? They charge fees for everything else it seems...

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The Irish Aviation Authority is investigating the airline after passengers complained they were being forced to pay an extra 10 (or about $16) to sit in seats by emergency exits.

Passengers like these seats because they offer more leg room. While the airline isn't the first to charge for the extra space, they're refusing to let passengers who haven't paid sit there, yet nearby passengers are still expected to man the exit door in case of emergency.

"I wasnt allowed to sit in the emergency exit row so I sat in the window seat in the row in front. Before take-off, one of the cabin crew spoke to me, and another passenger who was in the aisle seat," a Ryanair passenger told the Daily Mail. "Basically, she was saying that, since we were the closest to the emergency exit, wed have to make sure wed read and understood the instructions for opening the doors in the middle of the plane in an emergency."
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Old Mar 21, 12, 3:33 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
Fox: Ryanair probed for charging passengers extra to sit in emergency row seats

Is this illegal? They charge fees for everything else it seems...
I guess it's not illegal to charge fees for sitting in an exit row (more airlines do that), but to leave the exit row empty when nobody wants to pay.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 6:04 am   #3
 
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I guess it's not illegal to charge fees for sitting in an exit row (more airlines do that), but to leave the exit row empty when nobody wants to pay.
Don't know about Irish rules, but I believe the UK rule is that people actually must be in the exit row.

Personally I would refuse to take responsibility under the briefing unless sat *in* the row.

Neil
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Old Mar 21, 12, 7:22 am   #4
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A couple of my colleagues have a lot of experience with FR...and one flies from STN to Bremen, Germany several times a month. He said they try to charge 10GBP or 10EUR to people as they sit in the exit row...he sees it all the time and, as such, avoids sitting in the exit.

I would not want to be assigned the exit row responsibility unless I was sitting there...paid or not...
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Old Mar 21, 12, 7:29 am   #5
 
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so, if UK law forces FR to have people sitting there, how can they force people to pay 10 quid if they sit there. They cannot chase them away, as they have to be there by law.
It is becoming more and more obvious that FR is struggling to survive and they are saving by reducing safety.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 7:50 am   #6
 
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well they charge extras for everything else so why should the benefit of more leg room in that aisle be any different. However you are burdened with the possibility of having to act in an emergency.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 8:21 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by mith View Post
so, if UK law forces FR to have people sitting there, how can they force people to pay 10 quid if they sit there.
Some people want to sit in the exit row seats so they'll pre-book them which means that there will be people in those seats.

Of course it doesn't explain what happens if someone does book such an exit seat but is unable to fulfill their legal duties
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Old Mar 21, 12, 11:06 am   #8
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Originally Posted by pacer142 View Post
Don't know about Irish rules, but I believe the UK rule is that people actually must be in the exit row.
That doesn't seem to the case in the US:

On a lightly-loaded flight, I and others were moved out of the exit row for weight and balance reasons. I was pretty steamed that I'd lost my leg room and that there was no one to immediately operate the exit. The FA didn't care.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 6:40 pm   #9
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Old Mar 22, 12, 4:06 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by mith View Post
so, if UK law forces FR to have people sitting there, how can they force people to pay 10 quid if they sit there. They cannot chase them away, as they have to be there by law.
easyJet, if the allocated seating goes ahead, will charge.

The point is that the fee is to guarantee you will be sitting there. If you don't pay, you only sit there free *if they ask you to*, and this will be at random.

That's no different to declassified first class on a train. If you want to be sure to sit in first class, pay. But you might be lucky on a busy train and be allowed to sit there free.

The only real issue with charging for the exit row is where your seats are so close together that I can't physically fit in at all in a normal seat. This is true of Wizzair's newer aircraft (because of their stupid thick-backed design), but I haven't found any others yet. While it's not comfortable I do *only just* fit in FR's seats.

Neil
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Old Mar 22, 12, 9:20 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by pacer142 View Post
Don't know about Irish rules, but I believe the UK rule is that people actually must be in the exit row.

Personally I would refuse to take responsibility under the briefing unless sat *in* the row.

Neil
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Old Mar 22, 12, 10:39 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by mith View Post
[...]
It is becoming more and more obvious that FR is struggling to survive and they are saving by reducing safety.
"FR is struggling to survive" - not at all - Ryanair continues to be a very successful business.

e.g. BBC News - Ryanair profits from higher revenues (7 Nov '11)
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Old Mar 22, 12, 11:19 am   #13
 
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Exactly - built on the SW business model. They give the vast majority what they want. Low cost flights.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 11:47 am   #14
 
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I understand that they rather keep the seats in the exit row empty unless somebody pays for it. THis might cause trouble, because the people who would be the first to reach the exit in the case of emergency might not know how to open the door. So, it is a security issue. Irish aviation law seems not to be very safety friendly.
It seems to me that few people want to pay for it. I mean, I would if it is a long flight to the canaries or so, but for a short flight, i am fine - thanks to the "non-reclining" seat set up. Other people (shorter, fatter) prefer not to sit in the exit or bulk head row, because the seats are narrower and they dont care about the leg room.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 12:36 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by mith View Post
So, it is a security issue.
Security? You mean safety, don't you?

(PS Sorry, didn't mean to sound arrogant. I should have remembered that "safety" and "security" often get mixed up by non-native speakers because some languages have just one word to cover the two)

Last edited by Aviatrix; Mar 22, 12 at 12:43 pm.
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