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Ryanair comes under fire for emergency seat charges

Budget airline Ryanair is to be investigated by the Irish Aviation Authority over safety concerns caused by its emergency exit seating policy.

The airline has been criticised for charging customers an extra £10 for a seat in the emergency exit rows, which offer a little more leg room.

It refuses to let passengers sit in these rows unless they pay the extra charge, leading to many flights without any passengers in the emergency rows.

But despite the empty rows, the airline still expects passengers in surrounding seats to follow directions on how to open the door in an emergency.

Some passengers have complained about being told how to open doors that they can’t even see, or are a number of rows forward. It is this issue that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating, as it doesn’t feel passengers should be responsible for the doors if they are not sitting next to them. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has also said it has concerns about the safety implications of Ryanair’s policy. But Ryanair have said it doesn’t see this as an issue. Stephen McNamara, head of communications at the low cost airline, has said that they don’t differentiate between passengers when it comes to safety instructions.

“We do not believe this to be an issue as all Ryanair passengers are provided with the same safety and evacuation information,” he said. “We will continue to discuss the matter with the IAA,” he added. This is not the first time Ryanair has come under fire for its cost-saving measures, with many passengers complaining about hidden charges that render the initial low cost of the ticket pointless. Going on holiday is always a large expense, but savings can be made. It is important to invest in travel insurance to avoid any high medical costs while abroad.

Date Created: 02 April 2012

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