The European Parliament will study random seats on flights after the complaint of a Spanish passenger: “It may affect security”, which is why the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, the public body that examines complaints from individuals, agreed on Thursday of this week to review the complaint of a passenger from Spain against the allocation policy random airline seat selection.

To all this he adds the extra cost that families and groups of friends must pay if you want to travel together. The complainant, whose name is Alfonso Rodríguez Sánchez, whose name is linked to the consumer organization Facua In the Balearic Islands, he accused the airlines of pocketing “an enormous profit” with this “harmful practice” that began as a hallmark of low-cost companies but whose practice, he said, is now “completely widespread.”

To all this, Rodríguez assures that families They have to pay “an extra of between 20 to 40 euros to be able to travel in adjacent seats” if they want to reverse the random assignment of seats, and denounced that the money received from this practice and from the charge for hand luggage “is becoming the main source of income” for many airlines.

What is a random seat on a flight?

If you travel on low-cost or low-cost airlines, such as easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling or Wizz Air, you most likely know the random seat assignment policyyes or even paid to sit next to a friend or family member on a flight.

This regulation applied by airlines implies that during online check-in, which is usually done between 7 days and 24 hours before the flight departure, passengers have the option to choose the seat who wish to board the plane by paying an additional fee to the ticket. If you decide not to pay, the airline assigns a random seat on the plane for free.


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In other words, even if you buy a plane ticket, you only have the right to travel on it, while If you want to choose a seat, the airline may charge you a surcharge. However, this guideline does not go against current air legislation, since, in the European Union, the law only requires that children under 12 years of age must travel with their accompanying adults or, when this is not possible, they must be at least in the same row, while babies under 24 months are also allowed to ride on their parents’ laps.

Why does it harm passengers?

The traveler of Spanish origin demanded that MEPs work to change the European regulations that regulate these issues and force airlines to end this practice which, he said, they do deliberately. “Companies use an algorithm when they detect reservations from people with similar last names and automatically separate them,” she denounced.

“There have been problems with passengers who have had to leave their 13 or 14 year old children alone, the flight crew has had to endure the anger and this can even affect the safety of the flight: Imagine that a person with “A psychological problem, that he could have an anxiety attack and that he is not with his companion?” Sánchez explained.


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However, any reform in this sense should come from the European Commissionsince it is the only community body that has the capacity to initiate legislation, and that participated in the parliamentary session this Thursday to agree with the Spanish complainant.

“You’re right, These types of policies used to fragment prices have become more commonthey are adding a charge for each part of the service, be it seat assignment, luggage, food or drink… I imagine that soon they are going to ask for a charge to be able to smile,” said the representative of the European Commission, a member of the Directorate. General of Mobility.

How to choose the best seat on a plane?

During the check-in process, the aircraft maps are very simple and not very detailed, so we cannot know well the characteristics of our seat reserved. To see exactly the model of the aircraft and the layout of the seats and windows we can use SeatGuru and thus not be disappointed when we board.

The seats They come in different colors Depending on their characteristics, that is, if they are more or less recommended, and by hovering over them, we can find out all the details:

  • Gray: The standard seats, which are the majority.
  • Green: The most recommended. Some of the features detailed are: “extra legroom” or “middle seat blocked (Business Class only).”
  • Yellow: They are not highly recommended because “the space for the feet may be due to its proximity to a wall”, “the tray is in the armrest, making it unable to move and the space being smaller” or “it may have limitations for to recline because there is an emergency exit behind.
  • Red: The least recommended, since some previous inconveniences accumulate and others are added such as being at the end of the plane, that there may be discomfort “due to the proximity to the bathrooms and the galley” or that it does not have a window “due to the structure of the airplane”.​

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