According to the new report, it is dangerous to split up families during the plane flight. Even when they refuse to pay more for the seating arrangements. The dangers supposedly appear in emergency situations, as the families tend to look for each other first, rather than to move towards the emergency exits.
It is no news that low-cost airlines such as Jetstar or Ryanair have been assigning passengers seats in different rows. Even when the tickets were purchased on the same booking. Travellers, who have not paid extra for the special seating assignement, have found themselves sitting in different rows. Sometimes a long way apart. In some cases, even in those situations when passengers have paid extra to reserve their seats, airlines have decided to split up travelling groups.Seating arrangements
Recently, there has been a research on seating arrangements. It showed, that one in five passengers are split up from their travelling group, just because they did not pay for the allocated seating. For Ryanair, one in three passengers do not get seats near their family or friends. After that, as there has been lots of dissappointment over such situations, the UK‘s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) decided to investigate further. It was found that such situations don‘t just cause inconvenience – they cause danger.
The Royal Aeronautical Society Flight Operations Group (FOG) states that cases, where families are seated far apart from each other, cause real threat. In emergency situations, travellers may endanger themselves and other passengers as they are more likely to look for each other rather than to move toward the emergency exits.
More than a couple dozen cases were investigated and Emergency Evacuation of Commercial Passenger Aeroplanes outlined 17 recommendations to improve certain processes.
Regarding "passenger seat allocation" it is advised not to charge passengers for being allowed to sit together with their families. The reason for this is safety during emergencies. It is said that „if an emergency situation occurs, such an evacuation, decompression or air turbulence, when the assistance and supervision of an adult is likely to be of paramount importance."