easyJet gives up seating free-for-all

LONDON (ShareCast) - Airline easyJet is to give up the 'no reserved seats' format it pioneered after customers said they would rather avoid the scramble traditionally associated with boarding a low cost flight.

From November passengers will be allocated seats after a trial showed 70% of people on trial routes thought allocated seating was better than easyJet's current system due to the improved boarding experience.

In trials over 60% said that they were more likely to use easyJet in the future if they had a pre-arranged seat.

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Under the new plans all passengers will be allocated a seat on easyJet's flights and will have the choice of selecting their seat for a fee when they book flights or add them later to guarantee where they'll be sitting.

There will be three bands of pricing, dependent on the seat selected:

· £12 for extra leg room (front row and exit rows)
· £8 for up front seats (row 2-5 on A319 or 2-6 on A320)
· £3 for any other seat

Anyone who chooses not to pay to select their seat is given their seat number when they check in either online or at the airport.

"Our customers asked us to trial allocated seating and we are really pleased with the positive passenger feedback during the trial," said Chief Executive Carolyn McCall.

"As importantly, we have shown that we can do so while delivering strong on time performance - the most important driver of passenger satisfaction."

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