26 MARCH 2012
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Whilst Ryanair is always very conscious of its safety requirements it is under scrutiny for the way it allocates passenger seating. Passengers are now charged an extra £10 for the first four rows and using the seats amidships by the emergency doors over the wings. However if these are not taken people seated the next closest position to the escape routes are briefed on how to operate the doors. They could be several rows away.
The issue has been raised both by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA). The UK CAA said that the issue was a "grey area" and has asked for clarification.
Stephen McNamara, Head of Communications at Ryanair said: “We do not believe this to be an issue as all Ryanair passengers are provided with the same safety and evacuation information. We will continue to discuss the matter with the IAA.”
Ryanair has for a long time on lightly loaded flights cordoned off sections of the aircraft, not thought to be a technical requirement but possibly due to load-factor massaging. With most carriers passengers are usually allowed to spread themselves out when aircraft are not busy. www.ryanair.com
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