Britain to probe if airways intentionally break up passenger teams

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated on Saturday it was starting a overview into airways’ seating insurance policies, together with whether or not some operators have been deliberating splitting up teams of passengers travelling collectively.

Some prospects have complained that they have been seated away from their associates or household as a way to power them to pay further for allotted seating.

“We will be looking into how airlines decide where to seat passengers that have booked as part of a group and whether any airlines are pro-actively splitting up groups of passengers when, in fact, they could be sat together,” stated CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines. 

“We will not hesitate to take any necessary enforcement action should it be required at the end of the review.”

In a survey of passengers from 10 airways performed by pollster YouGov launched on Saturday, these who flew with Irish low-cost airline Ryanair have been probably to report being separated from their group when not paying extra to sit down collectively.

Ryanair (RYA.I) stated it was completely happy to take part.

“Our policy is very clear for our customers and seats can be purchased from just 2 euros and kids travelling in families get free seats,” stated a spokeswoman.

Rival easyJet (EZJ.L) stated it could cooperate with the CAA overview and that it tried to maintain teams collectively.

“Unlike some airlines, if passengers choose not to pay to select their seats, easyjet’s seating system is programmed to try and seat families together when they check-in online by using an algorithm,” the agency stated in an announcement.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; modifying by Mark Heinrich and Alexander Smith

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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