We've lost count of the amount of flights we've been on with Ryanair now that despite booking ourselves and our travel companions flight at the exact same time under the same booking and checking in ALL seats together, we're still sat at complete opposite ends of the plane.
It didn't use to be like this. Last summer the first reports of passengers being "deliberately separated" on Ryanair flights if they didn't pay to book a specific seat were published by The Irish Times.
Although Ryanair insists that it had not changed the way it allocated seats, thousands of people reported their booking parties were being split up.
The Irish Times is now reporting that the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be carrying out a review of airlines' seating policies - including if some are purposefully splitting up passengers.
CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines said: “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.
“We will not hesitate to take any necessary enforcement action should it be required at the end of the review.”
@bbc5live my partner & I were randomly allocated seats 12 rows apart despite there being a seat next 2 him. Ryanair claims no fault as they cant control randomness. Even if it is truly random, it makes it vastly more likely to be separated than together so they get what they want
— Claire Green (@Claire_Green_) February 4, 2018
It seems @Ryanair sit you separately even if the flight isn’t anywhere near full! What a joke! Nothing like trying to force the customers hand to pay for two seat together!
— Kimberley (@Kimmy21Kimmy) February 4, 2018
By "necessary enforcement action" it means that the CAA could force Ryanair to change its seating algorithm.
A recent survey of 10 airlines found that passengers who flew with Ryanair were most likely to be split up.
In response to the upcoming CAA review, Ryanair said that “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."