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Ryanair Locking Rows 1 - 4  
User currently offline4tet From Spain, joined Sep 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 22582 times:

Hi everybody!

Yesterday I traveled BCN - CRL and I was shocked as the rows 1 - 4 were locked so anybody could seat there.

I've been digging around the forum and I've learnt that this is for balancing the aircraft. Still, I feel there are some things that aren't clear (to me at least) so I decided to post.

So to put you in situation. 21 seats empty, and the rest of the plane was absolutely full (0 other free seats), so I can imagine this must be coordinated with sales and ticketing.

21 @ €50 (we paid around €115 for the round trip in a well advance, so I suppose the mean fare is higher) seats means some €1050 'lost' revenue in that leg.

So my questions are:

Which is the reason for FR to loose those 1000 euros? Cost savings can only come by fuel savings... And anyway, why not sell then the last 21 tickets more expensive to offset those costs?

I have only seen this in FR, why is this not common in other airlines if it really helps saving costs?

Then, an aircraft which the optimum is not occupying the 4 first rows? Really? This happens only in the 737 family or also in the 320 family?

Thanks!!
R.

PD: Anyone knows why in BCN never allow the planes to cross runway 07L/25R? This makes the ground taxi a loooong journey...

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesantos From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22541 times:

You sure it wasn't because FR now allows Reserved Seating on front rows?
http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ryana...ce-on-12-brussels-charleroi-routes


User currently offlineHullCitySpotter From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2012, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22471 times:

We had this on the KUN - LBA route; although on the way there people were sat in rows 1-4 as the flight was completely full. However seats 1/2 can be reserved online so this can't always be the case.

User currently offlinelmml 14/32 From Malta, joined Jan 2001, 2565 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22448 times:

FR blocks rows according to the load. The reason being that since the crew do the cleaning on their very short turnarounds, it saves time on the ground.

User currently offlineEIDL From Ireland, joined Apr 2012, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22329 times:

Rows are only blocked if un-sold so the revenue argument isn't relevant - if the seats could be sold, they would have been.

They are also now known to refuse to let anyone sit in the "premium" seats if the flight is underbooked and said seats aren't sold. The IAA are investigating this at the moment as its resulting in, occasionally, all 6 exit row seats being left empty at all times during the flight which is in breach of IAA regulations.


User currently offline4tet From Spain, joined Sep 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22249 times:

Quoting EIDL (Reply 4):

Rows are only blocked if un-sold so the revenue argument isn't relevant - if the seats could be sold, they would have been.

I mean, It could be just coincidence that just 21 seats were unsold? I don't think so...


User currently offlineCabincrewifly From Ireland, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago) and read 22126 times:

Rule 1 (Mandatory)
Passenger load of 177 or less = Block off row 3 and 4.

Rule 2 (Optional, applicable only when advised by Captain or
dispatcher)
Passenger load of 129 or less = Block off rows 3-8 and the last four rows.



EI FR RE EIR IWD MA FUA
User currently offlineEIDL From Ireland, joined Apr 2012, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 21776 times:

Quoting 4tet (Reply 5):
Quoting EIDL (Reply 4):

Rows are only blocked if un-sold so the revenue argument isn't relevant - if the seats could be sold, they would have been.

I mean, It could be just coincidence that just 21 seats were unsold? I don't think so...

If there were enough seats sold, the rows would be un-blocked. I've been on Ryanair flights with >180 pax before, clearly nothing is blocked then.

Ryanair's business model doesn't allow for randomly deciding not to sell seats. It has no impact on the number of F/A's required (IAA regs, again) so even a flight that is likely to carry less than 100 or less than 150 is still going to have 189 seats available for sale and 4 F/As. Rows will be blocked to 'contain' the passengers in as little space as possible, but only when there's seats unsold.


User currently offlineawthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 21630 times:

When Ryanair had flights into Belfast City (pulled out of here some time ago), the front few rows were always blocked off. I was led to believe that this was to do with a weight limit on the plane due to the 1800m runway length at this airport. Was that not the reason at all then?

User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6484 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 21414 times:

This is nothing special for FR. I would assume that all airlines with free seating do the same when planes are not fully booked.

Lately I was on an ATR42 - 12 seat rows, and a little unusual since it has the door in the back. We were 13 pax boarding.

The FA stood in the aisle at row #7, and in addition to the usual welcome song she shouted: "Please find a seat in the back of the cabin, you won't pass me since I am stronger than you".

And then she paid a special smile to a couple of gentlemen who could probably triple her figure on the scale.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 21165 times:
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By blocking off some rows the crew do not have to check or clean those on the turnaround, thus saving time.

FR often cite weight and balance issues, this would only be the case if there was a very light load on the B738, I'm not sure of the numbers but on an A320 it is 110 or less, so I assume it would be somewhat similar for an FR B738.
With assigned seating other airlines can allocate specific seats to ensure corect trim, however with free seating on FR and flight of 110 pax could end up having incorrect trim.
However in the case of a nearly full flight trim would not be an issue and it becomes a technique by FR to save a bit of time on each turnaround.


User currently offlinebeau222 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21055 times:

I know on DL we add 50lb sand bags if needed for WB why co.uldn't they just add some in the back to balance out for passengers

User currently offlineplanesailing From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 816 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 20254 times:

On all the aircraft that my company have handled, trim blocks are often used at either end of the aircraft when the aircraft is not booked full, even if its only within 5-10% of capacity of the aircraft. If we need to use any of the seats, for norecs for example, then we have to get approval. Whilst we are talking about only 20 people, 20 men at the average weight of 80kgs is 1.6t of weight to balance if spread unequally around the aircraft. Bags are meticulously balanced in the holds and they're only 20kg in weight each, but humans have exception to being positioned to balance the aircraft, even though they weigh more than a bag and therefore cause a greater weight and balance issue.

User currently offlinegrimey From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 456 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19233 times:

In my flight training I was told that the further back the Centre of Gravity is the less stable the aircraft is but it is more fuel efficient. On a short flight like BCN - CRL I don't know how much fuel can be saved on a B738 but the FR theory is that all these small things add up since they have so many flight each day/year.

I knew someone back in Dublin who knew someone (typical Irish thing to have a friend of a friend) that worked in FR and I was told that this persons job was to work out the estimated weights on the aircraft for each flight and to say where the people should be sitting. With the price of fuel nowadays if that person can save more money in fuel then his wages then its a bonus for FR.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19116 times:

Quoting beau222 (Reply 11):
I know on DL we add 50lb sand bags if needed for WB why co.uldn't they just add some in the
back to balance out for passengers

They could but it it wouldn't fit with their business model. That's time/money/equipment that they don't want. It's simpler to block seats.

Tom.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19027 times:

Quoting beau222 (Reply 11):

I know on DL we add 50lb sand bags if needed for WB why co.uldn't they just add some in the back to balance out for passengers

Why add ballast when you can just rearrange the revenue producing ballast?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
They could but it it wouldn't fit with their business model. That's time/money/equipment that they don't want. It's simpler to block seats

I've heard stories about planes stopping on taxiways to rearrange passengers. Probably those airlines that get weight and balance from the dispatcher.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinebristolflyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 18797 times:

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 9):
I would assume that all airlines with free seating do the same when planes are not fully booked.

I don't think I've ever seen this, and I've seen enough empty seats to know this isn't the case. For the airline to cram everyone together and leave rows of seats empty is really bad, cleaning or no cleaning.



Fortune favours the brave
User currently offlinegrimey From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 456 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 18285 times:

and this is why Mass & Balance calculation are very important

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481

it doesn't matter if your flying a Cessna 152, Beechcraft 1900, Boeing 737-800 or A380 the Mass and Balance law is nearly all the same; you can only load so much weight into an aircraft and that weight must be positioned in the correct areas in order for the aircraft to preform safe flight.

[Edited 2012-05-12 22:41:04]

User currently offlineboeingorbust From Canada, joined Oct 2011, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 17532 times:

Don't know if this has anything to do with it also, but I'm sure as you all know, airplanes fly more efficiently with a more rearward C of G...

User currently offlineairevents From Germany, joined Jan 2002, 885 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 15588 times:

I find this ridiculous and not customer friendly at all. When you only have a light load on an aircraft like a Boeing 737 it is nice for everybody to spread their wings a little bit, especially on an airline not known for its generous seat pitch. Another reason for me to boycott Ryanair in the future...


www.airevents.com
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1387 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15330 times:

Quoting airevents (Reply 19):
I find this ridiculous and not customer friendly at all. When you only have a light load on an aircraft like a Boeing 737 it is nice for everybody to spread their wings a little bit, especially on an airline not known for its generous seat pitch. Another reason for me to boycott Ryanair in the future...

Think you made the mistake of using the term "customer friendly" and Ryanair in the same sentence. They don't give 2 fifths of frack all about you once you've paid them your money, but will do everything to save a cent. If that means you'll get squeezed more in return for them not having to clean 3 rows of seats, you loose.

I've flown them once, and once only, just to be able to form an opinion based on experience. Never again.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineCabincrewifly From Ireland, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15279 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 20):
Think you made the mistake of using the term "customer friendly" and Ryanair in the same sentence. They don't give 2 fifths of frack all about you once you've paid them your money, but will do everything to save a cent. If that means you'll get squeezed more in return for them not having to clean 3 rows of seats, you loose.

There's tons of other rows in the aircraft to choose from. Why moan over rows 3 and 4 and the other rows they might close off? You got a cheap ticket, and you know what you sign up for when flying Ryanair so why bother complaining after. Go fly another airline



EI FR RE EIR IWD MA FUA
User currently offlineozzietukker From Netherlands, joined May 2007, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14730 times:

Quoting Cabincrewifly (Reply 21):
There's tons of other rows in the aircraft to choose from. Why moan over rows 3 and 4 and the other rows they might close off? You got a cheap ticket, and you know what you sign up for when flying Ryanair so why bother complaining after. Go fly another airline

It is not the point that there are other rows to choose from, the point is that in the opinion of a customer Ryanair prevent them from getting some more space by blocking off some rows so all passengers are forced to sit together with no open seats.
The problem is that the passenger get told that this is for balancing reasons, but they will not believe this, and why would they? Other (LCC) airlines don't do this at all.

I understand why Ryanair might want to do this, balancing reasons in the beginning is correct, but when you have a load from more then 75% it does not make sense since people naturally will spread around the plane, you don't need to block rows for this.
Ofcourse there might be truth that a blocked row will save the cabin crew some time a the turn arounds so they don't have to clean, and when blocking off the rows a plane might in theory be a bit more fuel efficiënt since you know where the passengers will be sitting, but this is a long shot since you don't know the weight of the passengers so if a group of larger people sit together at the back or in the front this theory fails.

Ofcourse people have a choice. Personally, I only fly Ryanair from Eindhoven to Stansted, and only when the return flight cost less then 20 euro including taxes and booking fees. This flight is so short I don't mind where I am sitting, but for all other flights any other airline will get my business. But I am an advanced traveller, every week I am in a plane, so I know what is out there, but people going on holiday once or twice a year get caught by surprise with Ryanair.


User currently offlinecoolum From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2008, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13579 times:
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Ryanair have been using this policy of blocking seats for quite some years.

As has been eluded to earlier, it is basically due to weight & balance.

If you think of the seating on the aircraft broken into 3 equal areas (these are not always equal, but for the sake of simplicity) and call them A, B and C.
With a light load, you have the majority of passengers seated in area B, which causes the least effect on balance and therefore reduces the amount of error when calculating trim settings.

Cabincrewifly stated the rulings they used in an earlier post.
For the bigger loads (Rule 1), rows 3 & 4 were blocked for wheelchair passengers, nothing to do with weight & balance.

I am not really surprised they have started to block 1 to 4 to try and make some extra money. I am only surprised it has taken them this long to put it into action.

The other airlines I have handled that used free-seating used to evenly spread the passengers out when the loads weren't full, Easyjet springs to mind.

[Edited 2012-05-13 05:31:50]


Coolum
User currently offlinecuban8 From Kiribati, joined Sep 2009, 273 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11273 times:

Quoting coolum (Reply 23):
As has been eluded to earlier, it is basically due to weight & balance.

Weight & balance doesn't have that much importance when an airplane is nearly fully booked. If the passenger load is below 100 pax I can buy the argue, but not in this case.

Also, weight & balance is mostly calculated for the take-off performance (and in some cases for landing performance), so Ryanair should allow people to change their seat during cruise, which is not the case.

As people say, you get what you pay for. Cheap company - cheap practices...


25 BMI727 : What's cheap about it? You pay for one ticket you get one seat on the flight. Not a whole row. Not a seat with an empty one next to it. One seat. Peo
26 ozzietukker : Probably you should get what you pay for. But as you want to have returning customers it is probably a wiser idear to make them satisfied with the fl
27 babybus : So it looks like nobody knows the answer to your question. And no word from our flight crew either. On most half full flights I've been on the captain
28 GCT64 : This happened on my recent FR DNR-STN flight. All overwing exit rows empty and the cabin crew refusing to let pax sit there. I considered raising the
29 bristolflyer : Who would they give the pre-flight safety briefing (regarding being able to lift the door) too if no-one was sitting there? The next row?
30 GCT64 : They didn't deliver a briefing on the overwing exits.
31 bristolflyer : Is it not required in Europe? If there's an emergency and there is no-one around who is willing and able to open the door that would be a problem.
32 Post contains links EIDL : It is required. Hence the IAA issuing a "reminder" bulletin this year, that was quite obviously directed at FR: http://www.iaa.ie/index.jsp?p=93&n
33 Post contains links GCT64 : Interesting that the bulletin was issued almost 2 months before I was on an FR flight where the "self help emergency exits" were not occupied. Either
34 Post contains images Daleaholic : Did you seriously just say W&B doesn't have much importance? And not cheap practices, they're fast practices which ensures the aircraft can be tu
35 Post contains links lucce : Actually no. The wheelchair seats are: 32A, 32F, 3A, 3F (full flight), 32A, 32F, 5A, 5F (Rule 1), 28A, 28F, 9A, 9F (Rule 2). BTW, am I the only one t
36 Cabincrewifly : We gain a basic knowledge and understanding of what the training course involves from this manual, it involves a lot but not everything
37 AA94 : As has been stated, it is due to weight and balance calculations. An official explanation from Ryanair is as follows:
38 lucce : Okay, I guess it helps to speed up the training. I just don't see why they don't put a password on it. Well I guess since many airlines' pilot manual
39 bristolflyer : If it falls on the people in the next row to agree to being willing and able, I can imagine people declining to agree. If Ryanair aren't going to do t
40 coolum : Cheers for that. It has been a couple of years since I had to dispatch a Ryanair flight, so not surprised it has changed.
41 grimey : The Centre of Gravity must always be forward of the Centre of Pressure (this is where the lift happens on the wing) the main reason for this is becau
42 Semaex : Both statements are untrue. In airplanes which can suit more than 100 pax but are filled with far less, where do you get the idea from that W&B i
43 4tet : Ok, we have assumed is for balance reasons. Then if so, those overwing exits would have to be occupied always, as probably they are just on the CoG of
44 smbukas : I fly Wizz Air very often. I usually buy their "emergency seats" feature as I think it is very good value for your money. But usually if it is a not
45 cuban8 : I don't know what you guys are talking about, but I'm referring to Ryanair blocking the first 4 rows for weight & balance reasons. Believe me, th
46 EIDL : You have four CC. There are four other exits which they generally man... I'd need to read IAA regs but I imagine leaving the fore and aft doors unman
47 Semaex : Yes of course you will still be within the acceptable CG range if you block any 4 rows on the plane. The point with FR is: They know that blocking th
48 bristolflyer : I guess I was thinking that someone in another row might get asked to do it - but I was overlooking the fact that he/she would be offered the seat as
49 CRJ900 : The B737-800 is tail-heavy in an all-Y config, where I work we move pax forward in the cabin to get the weight and balance right, blocking off the fi
50 Cubsrule : Let me say this: I have been on numerous WN flights (737 classic and NG) that have fewer than 50 passengers. I have never seen passengers being moved
51 coolum : Ryanair (unless its changed in the last 18months) have a strict loading policy with regards to baggage. Where I was based, cargo and mail was never a
52 dogbreath : Having read all of the posts above, there's some absolute rubbish written here. The biggest laugh would have to be the belief by some, that the blocki
53 Cubsrule : Absolutely true, but not end of story. The simplified W&B process - which as far as I know is unique to FR - is the reason that FR, and only FR,
54 txjim : I appreciate the detailed response, always helpful to see technical answers. This does lead to the the Southwest question; I have never seen similar
55 grimey : Very interesting, I didn't know FR had such a design done with Boeing on this. Just wondering the following in regards to the Adjusted Weights system
56 Daleaholic : The most intelligent and well researched reply I've seen for a long time. Thankyou.
57 dogbreath : I wouldn't know if this is unique to Ryanair or not. It possibly is. If it is, it may be that EASA (or JAR as it was previously know as) and/or the IA
58 Cubsrule : It may also be that FR was looking for a way to make their W&B procedure easier, and if blocking seats permits them to save some steps on the W&a
59 awthompson : I go back to my post at reply no. 8 which no-one responded to. When RYR operated into Belfast City (BHD) some time ago, the front 6 or so rows were al
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