Britain to probe if airways intentionally cut up passenger teams

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

Some prospects have complained that they have been seated away from their mates or household with a view to drive them to pay additional 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 carried out by pollster YouGov launched on Saturday, these who flew with Irish low-cost airline Ryanair had been most probably to report being separated from their group when not paying extra to take a seat 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 will cooperate with the CAA evaluation 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; enhancing by Mark Heinrich and Alexander Smith

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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