This afternoon I flew from Tallinn to London (TLL-LTN). After a rather painful boarding process I entered the cabin and was delighted to see the emergency exit rows still empty. I asked the FA standing in one of them if I could sit there, and was asked if I had reserved one. I was a bit surpised by the question, as I had never heard of FR reserving specific seats. It seems like no one else had either as both rows went out empty (on a very full flight).
When I got home just now, I checked, and found this:
"The option to reserve a seat is available on all Ryanair flights
A reserved seat in row 2 and (emergency exit) rows 1, 16 & 17 can be purchased in advance online or at a call centre for £10/€10 per one way flight. Reserved seats cannot be purchased at the airport. The priority boarding service is included in the above Reserved Seat fee
To sit in an emergency exit seat (Row 1, 16 or 17) you must be:
16 years or older
Willing and able to help in the event of an emergency
Not traveling with an infant
Not using a seat belt extender (which could get tangled in an emergency)
The reserved seat fee is non-refundable, even if customers are unable to use their reserved seat for one of the above reasons.
Customers who have booked a reserved seat who subsequently change their flight date/route or passenger name can do so online via Manage My Booking or via a call centre (subject to opening hours). However, the reserved seat cannot be transferred to the new flight/passenger and in these cases the fee is non-refundable."
On a dummy run just now it seems like priority boarding is only £5, so not the £10 advertised. Shame I hadn't heard about it before, or else I would have gladly spent £5 to have the row to myself on a full flight. No one moved there after takeoff. My last FR flight was in November, and this wasn't in operation then - how new is it? I'm surpised they didn't offer to "upgrade" to these seats onboard for a fee like other do (e.g. Monarch).
On an unrelated noted, yesterday I flew STN-TLL with easyJet as was told priority boarding would be GBP 13.50 if bought at the airport! Outrageous! Still, I managed to get the seat I wanted without spending the cash.