Ryanair to introduce reserved seats for children under 12 after experiencing boarding issues this summer
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Ryanair to introduce reserved seats for children under 12 after experiencing boarding issues this summer

RYANAIR has announced it is introducing a reserved seat system for children under 12.

The airline will make it mandatory for adults travelling with children under 12 to purchase a reserved seat from September 1.

But the child will be allocated a seat with the adult free of charge.

The information required to allocate the child's free seat will be gathered from their date of birth at the time of booking.

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From September 1st children under 12 will be allocated a free seat on all Ryanair flights. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie From September 1 children under 12 will be allocated a free seat on all Ryanair flights. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The introduction of the seat system follows a particularly busy summer with the airline, with 94 per cent of its flight operating at full capacity.

During the May to July period many adults travelling with children did not select reserved seating, and instead were allocated seats at random.

A Ryanair spokesperson has said that the random allocated seats had caused "boarding issues" as crews had to reseat customers with young children.

"Ryanair's crews cannot move customers who have already paid for their preferred seats simply to accommodate other customers who are travelling with young children, who declined to reserve their seats and chose to have their seats randomly allocated," the spokesperson added.

Irish Post reader Martin McWilliams got in touch to say that on occasion when flying with Ryanair, his toddler had been allocated a seat away from his parents.

He added that two other passengers has then moved for them. On one occasion two "lovely ladies" he was sitting next to changed their allocated seats to accommodate them.

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Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs, has said the introduction of the free seat allocation system for children will "allow families to select their preferred seats at the time of booking, check in for their flights 30 days prior to departure, while ensuring that they always sit with their children."

Mr Jacobs went on to say that the new system will prevent other customers, who have chosen to purchase an allocated seat, from being displaced on board.