A new research is exploring the possibility that the airlines deliberately split groups of passengers, force them to pay to sit together.
Avid flyers know that the airlines are becoming more and more the fees for the safe in-flight seats in addition to family and friends, and creates a national aviation authority to launch a formal investigation.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has formally launched an investigation to the assigned airline seating policy, passengers pay more costs than ever to sit in the area that they are traveling with, reports the Metro.
In a first study, the CAA found that not only 30 percent of the families will be split per airline “random” algorithms for assigning seats, but the people bringing around the $542 million in additional costs are in the neighborhood of loved ones.
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“We will be looking at how airlines decide where are the passengers that are booked as part of a group and or airlines to be pro-active to split up groups of passengers, when, in fact, they were sitting together,” CAA chief executive Andrew Haines confirmed in a statement.
“The research shows that the uncertainty around the question of whether the group will be distributed by the airline that is driving consumers to pay for a seat,” he explained.
“We will not hesitate to take all necessary enforcement measures if necessary at the end of the test.”
The phenomenon of the Daily Mail has the name “airline seat split,” the CAA is the first study found that 35 percent of the Ryannair passengers who do not pay extra were separated from their group, with Emirates close behind at 22 percent, Virgin Atlantic to 18 percent.
Daughter & I were split up in Berlin to Toulouse flight today. A Half-empty plane. She was five rows behind me. Neither of us had anyone else in our row. Not much doubt about what happened here. #ryanair https://t.co/6xZpSq3AtR
— Kate Brown (@katefromberlin) February 4, 2018
@Ryanair suspect that they don’t split friends and family on the flights. Funny how I had to pay to have us all together on an empty plane, she Was sat all 4 of us on our last flight? pic.twitter.com/q6iZkliQOx
— Matthew Diaper (@diapermatthew) February 3, 2018
@Delta: TERRIBLE customer service, the family is divided by means of the plane, both my wife and I are medallions. flight attendants REFUSE to allow her to sit in an empty, comfort plus seat with my daughter and me . she is a LOCKET. pic.twitter.com/yB84XVfGM3
— Ian prukner (@ian_prukner) December 23, 2017
Great work @Alaska, split-up of a family with a 4 month old child on her lap and a 3 year old, as 25% of the plane is empty pic.twitter.com/634YMYOuYR
— Josh Mitchell (@mitchell_bu09) October 6, 2017
Travel + Leisure notes that each airline has its own unique computer algorithm that assigns flyers seating patterns.
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In different airlines, many Twitter users have expressed their concern that this is a bigger issue outside the UK.
Meanwhile, Tracey Spicer, Australian travel blog Traveler noted noted, although buzz around this topic is usually focused around the children, there is more to the equation.
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“What about someone traveling with an autistic adult or a parent suffering from dementia? What are the consequences for the safety, in the event of an emergency? And would parents ignore evacuation procedures in desperate attempts to be with their children?” she thought.
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak