Budget airline easyJet will have allocated seating for all flights from November 1, according to a press release on their website: easyJet Allocated Seating.
The move will ensure families and groups will be able to sit together, thus reducing the need to race to your seat or to buy priority boarding.
But the airline still needs to change some of its policies in order to make its boarding procedure as painless as it should be.
easyJet making the expensive priority boarding less appealing shows that the low-cost carrier is putting customer service over short-sighted money-grabbing, thus distancing itself from its rival Ryanair (which sees customer service as anathema to profit-making). In recent years easyJet has also moved to the industry-standard cabin baggage size away from Ryanair's smaller size, meaning less easyJet customers are caught out and forced to pay penalty fees.
So will easyJet's move mean no more of that tedious standing in line before the flight has begun boarding? Unfortunately not.
The disadvantage of easyjet's more tolerant baggage allowance is that there is often not enough space in the cabin for all the bags. So the flight crew seize the baggage of people towards the back of the line. Which is particularly frustrating if, like me, your main reason for traveling hand luggage only is so you can leave the airport as quickly as possible at the other end.
The solution to this problem is simple, free of charge and would keep everyone happy - but easyJet refused to implement it. If easyJet seized the bags of people who have already checked bags in (at the baggage drop point), this would allow those of us who don't want to wait at the carrousel at the end to board with our baggage, but allow those who will have to wait anyway to have the ease of boarding the flight without the hassle of finding somewhere to put your bag.
A win-win-win situation for both kinds of customer and the airline itself. So why won't easyJet do it?
- See also: How Strict Is Ryanair's Baggage Policy Surprising pictures from my flight from Malaga