How to Get a Free Seat on Ryanair

London Stansted - Milan BergamoLately, Ryanair has changed the way it sells flight tickets by introducing assigned seats. But if you understand their algorithm, you can still get your desired seat for free! I studied their booking process during the last few weeks by gathering statistical data and analysing it. After understanding how their engine works, I will teach you how to get your desired seat on any Ryanair flight for free.

April 2015 update: Ryanair has changed the seat allocation algorithm and the premium rows. According to my analysis, the new row allocation order is:
33, 20, 19, 22, 15, 24, 12, 26, 10, 28, 8, 30, 18, 21, 14, 23, 11, 25, 9, 27, 29, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 17, 16, 31, 32. The order in which seats are allocated on each row seems to have remained the same, but it’s not sure whether they consider the interval between seats C and D as a “separator” or not (as one couple reported to have received the seats C+D). I am trying to build a tool to “predict” the seats that will be allocated next, hope I will have the time to finish it and announce it here soon!

November 2015 update: The free Priority Boarding is now offered only to the paid Front Row & Premium Seats (rows 1-7, 16-17). If you manage to get a Premium/Front row seat for free (as explained in this article), it will not include Priority Boarding, but you will have to do the check-in in “Other Q”.

April 2016 (small) update: During free seats allocation, if only the A and B seats are taken and a group of 2 persons does the check-in, Ryanair will not allocate the C+D or D+E seats, but will allocate E+F, keeping this way the C+D seat pairs available. As far as I saw, the C+D pairs are not allocated to groups of 2, even when there are no 2 seats together in the standard seats area. Instead of allocating the C+D standard seats to a group of 2, Ryanair prefer allocating premium seats. (not valid starting August 2016)

June 2016 (small) update: During free seats allocation, if on the current row only one of the D or E or F seats are taken and a single person do the check-in, Ryanair will not allocate the A seat (first from left to right), but will allocate one of the available seats between D-F, keeping this way the A+B+C group available. If seat E is not already taken, it will not be allocated on this stage, probably trying to leave more space to the 2 travellers. If E is taken… I don’t know which seat will Ryanair choose to allocate, can anyone help? Did this happened to you?

If you have flown with Ryanair lately, you should know that the company offers allocated seating on all their flights. You can book your seat during the flight booking process or via Manage Booking, or even during check-in, for a 4-10 euro tax, depending on the seat. If you don’t book a seat, one will be automatically allocated to you during the check-in phase. Ryanair says that it randomly allocates seats if you don’t purchase them. Is this true, or is it just a marketing strategy to force you to buy? Let’s see.

During my research, I analysed the order in which seats are allocated, regularly checking the Ryanair website in the days before departure. I took snapshots of the seat allocation map, and below you can find the snapshots for a flight from London Stansted to Milan Bergamo. By comparing multiple flights, I noticed that the airplane got filled in a precise order, without leaving empty seats. This helped me conclude that the allocation is not random; instead, it follows a precise algorithm. And if you understand it, you can choose your seat for free by doing it at the “best check-in time” instead of having to pay for it.

My analysis started 15 days before the flight departure, when online check-in started, but I noticed almost no allocation up until 10 days before departure. Starting from day 10, the maps started showing some unavailable seats, which were either purchased or were freely allocated during check-in. The first 5 rows, the last 2 rows and the 2 emergency exit rows (16 and 17) are called premium seats (costing 10 euro/seat) and are not freely allocated at this stage, remaining available for passengers who are willing to pay.

Seat allocation on a Ryanair flight from London Stansted to Milan Bergamo

Seat allocation on a Ryanair flight from London Stansted to Milan Bergamo

The first allocated seats were always the seats in the middle of the cabin, behind the emergency exists: rows 18 and 19. Then, Ryanair continues allocating seats from the middle of the cabin to the back of the plane and to the front of the plane, one row at a time: 15, 20, 14, 21, 12, 22, etc. I have to note that the allocation process takes into account families and tries not to split them in different rows. For example, if there is only one seat available in the current row, and a family of 2 does the check-in, requesting “random seating,” they will be given seats on the next available row and the empty seat will be allocated to a passenger travelling alone. Ryanair also claims that it tries to help families who have been allocated seats randomly and in different rows, which is a very nice thing.

As the plane gets filled, when there are around 10 empty “regular seats,” Ryanair starts allocating the unsold “premium seats.” The company does this so that passengers who still want to purchase seats can choose between the cheap regular and the expensive premium seats. The first premium seats allocated for free are the seats in the 5th row. There is not much difference between the 5th row (premium) and the 6th row (regular), so they prefer to offer the 5th row before the 6th.

In the back of the plane, row 29 is almost always left empty, until there are no other seats left to allocate. The last 2 rows (32 and 33) are premium and are also left empty until the last passengers check in.

The premium seats plus rows 6 and 29 are the last ones to be allocated for free. So, if you want to grab a premium seat for free, you have to wait and do the check-in only after the regular seats have been allocated. The more you wait, the better your chances are of getting a good seat. However, don’t forget that online check-in closes strictly 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure, and you also have to print the boarding passes and go to the airport.

What is the order in which premium seats are allocated?

First, Ryanair flights do not always sell out, so there might be some seats left empty during the flight. Also, if there are passengers doing airport check-in, you have to do the online check-in before them, so you’ll be allocated a seat before them. But if there is no passenger doing online check-in, and the flight is full, according to my observations, the premium seats are allocated in the following order:
- Premium seats in the front (rows 5 to 2)
- Premium seats in the back (rows 32 to 33)
- Premium seats in the middle – with extra leg room (rows 17 to 16)
- Premium seats in the front – with extra leg room (row 1)

Do travellers really pay for allocated seats?

Yes. While I can never be sure that a seat was “randomly allocated” or “paid for,” in some cases, it is obvious that a seat was paid for. Around 5 to 10 seats in each plane are not allocated following the above-described algorithm, so they are most probably paid for. Some are reserved during the booking process, but most of them are allocated during check-in.

Which seats do people pay for?

Generally, passengers pay for seats with extra leg room (rows 1 and 16, sometimes also 17). Apart from these, I have often seen the seats in the 6th row being blocked early, so people must be paying for these seats, too. They are considered regular but are in the front of the cabin, so they give you a notable advantage by letting you be among the first passengers to get off the plane. This way you don’t have to queue for passport checking (when travelling outside Schengen). That said, this is an advantage only if you don’t have checked baggage.

How can I get a seat in the middle of the plane?

Do the check-in as fast as you can! The online check-in can be made up to 15 days before departure (note: it starts at midnight, not around your flight time). Do it then, and you will surely get a seat in the middle of the cabin, probably in rows 18 or 19.

How do I get a seat next to an exit (front or back doors)?

Do the check-in late, between 24 and 2 hours before the scheduled departure. According to some observations, the last rows to be freely allocated are 16, 17 and 29, in this order. You may not find 2-3 seats together in these rows, but if you are travelling alone and are booking 2-3 hours before departure (you may use the Ryanair app for this), this info may be very useful to get an extra legroom seat for free.

How do I see which seats are allocated and which are still available?

You can see the allocation map by starting another booking on the same flight. After selecting the flight, you will see a page with various options, among which is “Reserved Seats.” Click on the “Choose Seats” button, and you will see the allocation map, just like in the snapshots in this blog post.

What if I prefer a window seat?

No problem! Keep in mind that seats are allocated on a “per row” basis, and inside a row, they are allocated from left to right (from A to F). So, you just have to wait till there are 5 seats taken in the current row (A to E), and immediately after that, you can do the check-in. This way you will get the F seat of that row (next to the right window)! Alternatively, you can wait for it to be taken, too, and you get the A seat of the next row (next to the left window).

Is there a way two people who booked separately could be seated together?

First of all, in order to have a chance, you have to do the check in (almost) at the same time, otherwise there is no chance that you seat together! You can do it by using 2 different browsers/computers and check in simultaneously. If you can do it, there are 2 ways of making sure you get seated together:
1. (recommended) – do the check in exactly when the check in period starts! That is exactly 7 days 4 days (as of 1st November 2016) before the flight date, at midnight (UK time). In order to fasten the check in process, you can fill the passenger details at any time before this moment. This way, you will most probably be allocated the seats 18A and 18B, over the wings (if they are available). So you will stay together.
2. (only if you really hate row 18!) – you first have to understand the “allocation algorithm”, as described above. Identify the current row and check whether there are any empty seats on the already allocated rows.
- If there are, you will (probably) be allocated those seats, so you will NOT be seated together. So you have to wait till these empty seats get filled.
- If there are no empty seats on the already allocated rows AND there are 2 seats available on the current row, you will be allocated those 2, go for it now!

Keep in mind that as the plane gets filled, the chance of having empty seats on the already allocated rows grows, so you may lose a lot of time keeping an eye on it. So if you can still do the first method, I strongly advise you to do it.

239 comments

  1. Alex says:

    Is it possible to check in with a free “random” seat and – if I don’t like the seat – to pay for a another regular one?

  2. Lucian says:

    Yes, it is. It used to be possible to change the seat online, but now they restricted it. But you can still call them and they are happy to take your money and change it!

    • Louise says:

      I have 2 separate confirmation numbers for the same flight, both booked under the same email address. Will these be allocated together? Can we still get seats together without paying?

      • Lucian says:

        Being on 2 separate reservations, the system will NOT consider you as a group, so it will not try to put you together.
        But you can still try to get the seats together! In order to achieve this, at the moment of check-in you have to:

        1. identify the current row (the row where Ryanair is currently allocating seats) – which is the row where you will most probably get a seat if you check in that moment.
        2. See if there are enough empty seats to accommodate you and your party on the current row.
        3. If there are enough empty seats, just check in with both reservations, preferable very soon one after the other. If NOT, just wait till the current row changes (so the new current row will have enough empty seats)!

        In order to make the check in very fast one after the other, I suggest you to use 2 different computers or 2 different browsers and to do the 2 check-in processes in parallel.

        I also explained in the article how to identify the current row. If you have problems finding it, let me know.

        Please let me know if you succeeded or not!

        • Louise says:

          I don’t fly until 26 May, but I’ll keep you posted. Thanks.

        • chris says:

          Hi, you mention that you need to wait for seats to be filled up on a particular row before checking in. What I do is start a booking on a different phone/laptop for the number of seats I need filled, choose the seats and continue. Then when I check in, it shows those seats as filled and I get my desired seat

  3. [...] their allocation algorithm is not public, all we can do is to observe what’s happening. As I wrote last week, I analysed their allocation system for a few weeks. During my analysis, I saw that the seats are [...]

  4. Ginny says:

    Hi there. I just wanted to say thank you so much for the information you have provided here as following this we just managed to get the seats we wanted without having to pay :-) .

  5. Orla says:

    Just tried to check-in for a flight leaving on Sun 25th and returning on Fri 30th May, however, I can only select free seat allocation on the out bound flight. I think this is because the check-in window for free seats is now 7 days to 2 hours before your flight. Surely the timescale for check-in should apply to the booking as a whole, and not each leg of the journey. Sounds like another sneaky way to get us to pay for seats. Any ideas?

    • Lucian says:

      The check in window of 7 days to 2 hours before the flight applies for each flight. You can do the check in for outbound flight only! Here is how:

      1. in the online check in form, enter your booking details as usual.
      2. insert travel documents details
      3. in the outbound flight window, select “check in” for all passengers and “free allocated seats” and proceed
      4. in the inbound (returning) flight window, uncheck the “check in” for all passengers and proceed. If you see a confirmation window, confirm!
      5. Finish by printing the boarding passes for the outbound flight only.

      I just did this a few days ago and it worked just fine!

      • Orla says:

        Thanks. If I wait until Saturday I can book in both outbound and return flights this time. However, I can see this becoming a problem if I’m travelling for more than a week and I have to find somewhere to do my return journey check-in.

        • Lucian says:

          Indeed, that’s a problem. But you can find internet in every location where Ryanair fly and most of the hotels would do this for you.

  6. J says:

    Hello, this is so interesting! Trying to get my head round the system. Can I ask – if my boyfriend and I are travelling together, having booked both of our flights on my card at the same time – will the free random seat allocator assign us seats together? Ie treat us as a family because we’re on the same booking? Would be so grateful to know, thanks. J

    • Lucian says:

      Being on the same booking, Ryanair should treat you as family and try to allocate you seats together. Try to do the online check in at least 24-48 hours before the flight.

  7. Passerby says:

    Flying on the 17th, checked in within seconds of entering the 7-day timeframe (local time, meaning if you fly at 13:00 on the 17th you can check in from 00:00 on the 10th). Got the 18A with Seq No 20. Got the same seat on April, with Seq No 1, again after checking in as soon as was allowed to.

  8. gillian says:

    has anyone else came across this. I just checked in for my flight from Edinburgh to Gothenburg in the morning with Ryanair and did not pay any extras for premium seats or priority boarding and got both :s.

  9. Lee - M says:

    Thanks so much – £40 saved!

  10. Rich says:

    I just got 2 seats from different bookings for me and my girlfriend next to each other by pressing “check in” at exactly the same time in two different browser windows.

  11. Kaz says:

    I did online check in just after midnight, 7 days before for each leg of our journey and got allocated seats 18a-18d both times. However the advantage of these on both journeys was that the extra legroom seats at the emergency exits rows 16/17 were empty and as there has to be people sitting in them, we got offered seats in these rows. For one person in 18d this meant a whole row to themselves.
    Kaz recently posted..How to Get a Free Seat on RyanairMy Profile

  12. cath says:

    I’m flying on 5th October for 8 nights. I understand the 7 days before we go. Does that mean I’m only there for 2 days and I have to do the check in? I fly back on the 13th and if I booked my seats and pay for them, do I still have to check in before I fly back?

    • Lucian says:

      Yes, you have to do the check in for your return flight starting from the second day of your stay.
      If you pay for the seats you still have to do the check in, but you can do it at any time from 30 days to 2 hours before each flight.

    • Jonathan says:

      You could try to book seats for the return flight only. Then you should be able to book in at 00:01 7 days before you go – am I correct Lucian?

      • Lucian says:

        Definitely! Purchasing seats only for the return flight can be a good solution, if you can’t use an internet connection and a printer during your journey.
        Thanks Jonathan for pointing this out.

  13. Michele Cregg says:

    I’ve only just found this blog. Ended up paying for seats for my return flight as I’m not sure we will have the option of printing off passes whilst we are abroad. I checked in for our outbound flight tonight and we are flying in 5days. As a family of 4 we have been allocated seats together on row 4 and Priority booking. Not paid a penny for them!

  14. cath says:

    hi when I check in for my return flight do I have to print anything off as we don’t carry printers round wit us lol I thought all boarding passes were prinited of wen we check in for r out bond flight seems a lot ov messing about thanks

  15. Lloyd Davies says:

    Very interesting article Lucian. I have a very basic question. Is there any higher probability of getting bumped if you do not purchase a reserved seat? And if there is and Ryanair only flies this particular route (Madrid-Malta) once per day do they offer to pay for your hotel or are you just SOL.
    Thanks. Lloyd

  16. Sarina says:

    Hi,

    I’m still terribly confused! We fly out on the 31st (in 7 days as of today ) and I’ve just seen Ryanair wants to charge us stupid money for seats we’ve practically paid for already.
    My boyfriend and I obviously want a seat together for the 4 hour flight, including on the return journey, but we’re not wanting to pay an extra £50! :(

    Please help! What do I do?

    Best,
    Sarina

    • Lucian says:

      Actually, according to Ryanair, you paid for the flight and a random seat! So, if you want a particular seat, you have to pay for it.
      If any seat is ok for you and you just want to seat next to your boyfriend, you can achieve this for free! Just do the check in as soon as possible (7 days before the flight) for both outgoing and the return flight. You can find more details in the article above.

  17. Polly says:

    Hi there
    I was just wondering… I want to check in for both my outbound and inbound flights at the same time because I don’t want the hassle of printing boarding passes while away etc etc and we are away 6 days anyway. I am flying out on Monday 13 October, so in order to be able to check-in and print for both flights, I’ll have to check-in on Saturday 11 October. Will I still be able to get two seats together for my husband and I if I leave it this late? We are on the same booking.
    Thanks

    • Lucian says:

      You may be able to get seats together, 2 days before the flight, but I wouldn’t risk. I would rather visit ryanair.com on Tuesday 7 October, enter the passenger details and do the check in for the outgoing flight (without printing anything). Then, on Saturday 11 October I would check in for the return flight and print all boarding passes.

      • Polly says:

        Thanks for the tip. I’ll do this then. I didn’t know I could do that, thought I had to check in for everything at the same time and print everything at the same time. I’ve never flown Ryanair before so am terrified of messing up and being charged something ghastly.

  18. Bernard says:

    Very nice research. It seems it worked, I wanted a window seat and when I checked the status of the aircraft 9c and 25a were the first available seats. I proceeded with the random distribution and got 9c. I suppose that 25a comes after 9c, is that correct?

  19. Aiste says:

    Hi!

    can you recommend how can i print my boarding pass for outbound flight without doing check in for my return flight? Now i should pay for seats if I want to check in for return flight and without it, I can’t finish my outbound flight check in. I need to get boarding pass for outbound flight which is tomorrow.

    Thank you!

    • Lucian says:

      You can finish the check in for the outbound flight and print the boarding pass, without doing the check in for the return flight. Start the check in process, enter passenger details, and do the check in only for the outbound. If I remember well, you will see a warning that “check in is not completed”. Accept it and the check in will be done (only for the outbound flight) and you can print the boarding pass.

  20. Dave says:

    I can’t understand this at all..I am looking and they definitely have not started by allocating seats in row 15, there are other allocated seats and 15 is completely empty…

  21. Anna says:

    Genius ! Thank you :-)

  22. Nathan says:

    Hi on my flight to Tenerife in 10 days time (3 people). Rows 15 and 18 are empty. If I check in now without paying would I be assigned row 15?
    Thanks!

    • Lucian says:

      You can not check in now, without paying assigned seats! You will be able to do the check in 7 days before the flight. The first allocated row is 18 and the next is 15. If you prefer row 15, wait till 4 seats on the row 18 will be allocated and do the check in. This way, rather then splitting you on 2 rows, they will prefer to put you on the “next available row”, which is 15!

      Let me know if it worked out well!

  23. Stephen says:

    This is why I love the Internet. I was just looking at how we could get a party of 5 + 2 to sit together (their use of the word “random” sounded like they would scatter all 7 of us around the plane unless we paid up). Thanks to your blog I understand the algorithm, so it should be possible with a bit of careful tracking.
    I checked a few current flights and one thing I noticed is they currently seem to be allocating 18 + 19 before 15. So it looks like 18, 19, 15, 20, 14, 21, 12, 22, etc.
    Anyway, thanks for a most informative blog!

    • Lucian says:

      You are right, now they changed the order to: 18, 19, 15, 20, 14, 21, 12, 22, etc.
      This is why I also love the Internet. It’s collaborative and easy to keep updated, if proper feedback is given, like you did! Thanks for it, I will update the article.

  24. Andy B says:

    Hi is it possible to see how Quickly the seats are selling on a flight, as I am wanting to take my parents to Benidorm on 26th of dec 2014 but tickets are quite high priced around £150 each way and I would like to wait a bit nearer the time as ticket price might fall .But I AM scared the flight might sell out and not get a ticket ?

  25. Sam says:

    Great article! Just checked in me and my friend and got exactly the seats your algorithm predicts: 20A and 20B

    Cheers!

  26. Mike says:

    Anybody know if Row 29 is allocated before rows 16 and 17? There are 3 seats left on my flight, 1 row 16, 1 17 one 29, and I’m hoping for 16 or 17!

  27. TEDDY S says:

    Many thanks for your words of wisdom.Very informative,
    Teddy

  28. Diego says:

    I think that row 29 is the last one.
    Just checked-in with 17 and 29 row free, and I had a free 17.

  29. Norita says:

    I knew this site after I checked in for my first flight with Ryanair tomorrow and the return flight next week.

    Your information is correct in my case, for my flight to London tomorrow I got seat no. 4 for free, which is normally a priority seat and should pay EUR 10 extra. For my return flight from London (7 days from today) I got seat no. 18 for free, I guess I’m among the first passengers who did the first check in for the flight from London next week therefore I got seat no. 18. I checked in around 8.00 am, not many people online at that hour.

    This website is really helpful. Thank you.

  30. Diego says:

    It seems something changed: I always see the free 29, and the reserved 30.

    • Lucian says:

      Actually the row 29 is probably the last one to be allocated, and it was always like this. As stated in the article: “row 29 is almost always left empty, until there are no other seats left to allocate.”

    • Commenter says:

      It seems that now row 30 is filled immediately after row 18.

  31. Diego says:

    so the sequence should be now:
    18
    30
    19
    15
    20?

  32. michelle says:

    Hi we are a family of 4 with younf children, should i book allocated seats and pay £80 more. if i wait for the free seats, will i be told what seats we are all seating on. really dont want my 4 year old sitting on her own

  33. Lucian says:

    Ryanair states that they try to seat families together and according to my research, they do! You can also read http://flights-blog.lowcostroutes.com/2014/04/will-ryanairs-seat-allocation-system-split-families/ . So I strongly advice you to wait till the “free seating” starts (1 week before the flight) and to do the check in soon after.
    The seats are allocated for each single person, but unless there is a complain, nobody actually check them. You can easily exchange seats if both parties agree (like switching between you and one of your children).

  34. Andrew says:

    I’ve used this a lot and it’s been very helpful thanks.

    But I just checked in when all standard seats were full, there were only empty seats in 1, 2-5, 16-17, 29 and 32-33.
    This is when I would always check in and get a seat in 2-5 like I want. However this time I got 32E.

    Maybe something has changed now, I think it would be worth checking. It’s always puzzled me that 2-5 would be given freely before 32-33 anyway since I would have thought the front seats were more desirable. It was also quite strange that as an individual i was given a middle seat, thus breaking up the possibility of a couple there, when there were plenty of single seats in 2-5.

  35. Anne-Marie says:

    Hey, Firstly, thank you for all your advise.
    Such a shame Ryanair does not consider giving the unallocated seats check-in both ways on a 7 days trip (a regular go/return for most travelers I would think). Or both ways on any return flight, for that matter. How many people change their return flight and stay longer or have to cut short their holidays? I just don’t see why Ryanair makes it so complex.

    I don’t want to think about checking in and printing when I’m abroad …
    I guess I’ll just wait for the 10th March (am leaving on the 17th) and buy an allocated seat to be able to print my boarding pass also for the return flight on 24th March. At 5.99 euro, ah well …

    By doing so i will not have to ‘check in’ again for my return flight, no?

  36. ringlo says:

    Thanks for your great advice.

    Just one question: If Seats A and B in a row are taken, which seats would the next couple get? D and E or E and F?
    Is it “left to right” or “window seats” first?

    • Lucian says:

      according to my observations, after A,B,C, the next seat to be allocated is D. So, if A+B are taken and a couple try to check in, they should get D+E.

  37. Ian says:

    Just checked in on flight to Malta. My wife has difficulty with walking and row 30 is saved for “Persons with reduced mobility”. We got free allocation of 30E and 30 F on both legs

  38. Flyer says:

    Thank you very much for your analysis. It explains why I got a premium seat and priority boarding even though I did not purchase them. I checked in 8 hours before the flight and was allocated a 3E seat.

  39. Wulbur says:

    Hi-great post.
    We are a party of six who have booked on the same flight but individually. What is the best way for us yo be seated in two rows next to each other without paying for seats. Is it to all check in at the same time as soon as possible?

    • Lucian says:

      Yes, check in all as soon as possible will give you the best chance. Please let us know if it worked ;) Your feedback is always important.

      • Graham Dykes says:

        It now appears that Ryanair have increased their allocated seat charges for ‘some’ flights from £10.99 for premium and £5.99 for regular to £15.99 for premium and £10.99 for regular seats!

  40. Amberst says:

    Hi all
    A very interesting and useful blog.
    I am concerned about my cabin luggage being in the cabin and not the hold.
    How can I best achieve this?

  41. Nino says:

    !!!!!!! Ryanair changed the rows !!!!!
    Rows 32-33 aren’t PREMIUM Seats anymore. They are now REGULAR seats. And rows 6-7 are now PREMIUM Seats.

  42. Diego says:

    Everything seems changed…

    • Lucian says:

      True. I’ll analyze again their algorithm and try to understand and explain it in simple words. Any suggestions are welcome!

      • Nino says:

        I have started to analyze it. So far I can say:
        First they block or allocate 33.
        Then 20-19-22-15-24-12-26-10-28-8-30.

        • Lucian says:

          Great, thanks Nino! I also did some research to find the row allocation order.
          The order I found is similar with yours, only that row 24 is allocated before row 15. At first, I also thought that the order was 15-24, but I realised my mistake after finding a few cases in which row 24 was allocated and row 15 wasn’t. As you probably noticed, the row 15 is tricky, as people often pay for it and there is no way to say if a seat was paid for of freely allocated.

          Do you have any clue about allocation order of the premium seats and rows 31&32?

          • Nino says:

            I think rows 31&32 are the last ones. I found a flight where all the other seats are allocated but rows 31&32 not.

          • Lucian says:

            On that flight, were the premium seats allocated too? I’m wondering if rows 31&32 are allocated before/after/between the premium rows.

  43. Nino says:

    Yes they were. Here is a picture of that flight.
    http://www.imgbox.de/show/img/D4RPrhPA2k.jpg

    • Lucian says:

      Great, I’ll update the article.

      • Julie says:

        Hi Lucian,
        I have been reading your blog and sadly became very excited about checking in today. There are 6 of us, booked on 4 separate confirms. 2 of the party are single. I tried doing what Chris said and trying to start a separate booking with seat allocation to block the next to allocations for 1 person, but didn’t work. I wasn’t happy to put card details in, but chose seats, opened another tab and the seats I had blocked were still available. Row 24 is the next full row, but there are 2 seats on row 15 which is allocated before. Any advice to get the 6 of us together please?

  44. Karen says:

    I’m trying to get 2 premium seats on a ryanair flight, rows 3,4 and 5 are available but so are odd single seats on other rows. Will these be allocated to solo flyers first or is there a chance that 2 of us on the same booking could be split up

    • Lucian says:

      I saw your comment only now, so I guess it’s too late for an answer, as you probably already did the check in.

      So, which seats were assigned to you? Were you 2 split, or Ryanair gave you premium seats for free?

  45. Elice says:

    I read travel blogs all the time and I have learned some very interesting stuff over the years. This is the first time I actually leave a comment, because I really feel the need to thank you so much for doing all this work for us and also for writing this super-article. Not only did you explain it all so well, but you took the time to update the article as soon as the allocation changed. Once again, thank you very very much.
    A new fan of yours from Greece.

  46. Mary says:

    Just want to say thank you Lucien for all your hard work!

    I’ve never flown Ryanair before so this will be a bit of an adventure, ha. I made the mistake of checking in too early for my outbound flight and got a seat in row 33, but I waited overnight to check in and am now seated in the middle of the plane. Huzzah! Thanks again.

  47. Daf says:

    So the advice to get the best seats for free is to wait as long as possible before checking in online (i.e. just over 2 hours before)?

    • Lucian says:

      YES! This is true only if you travel alone. If you travel in a group, you will still get the best seats individually, but you risk to be split on different rows!

  48. marie says:

    Brilliant forum Lucian. Thanks to this we made sure we got a window seat for baby’s 1st flight. Only problem is it’s been allocated in row 15 and Ryanair website says infants can’t sit in 15 or 18 (either side of exit rows). I went on their live chat and they said it’s fine but I’m really concerned that when we gat there they’ll say it isn’t and split hubby & I up as the flight is full. Not sure why the website would state they can’t sit in that row if they can!

    • Lucian says:

      Yes, this rule seems strange. But since the baby is traveling along with you, I doubt they will try to split. If they do not allow the baby to travel on row 15, I expect them to try to move you both on suitable seats, but not only the baby. That would be rude and illogical.
      Anyway, good luck and please return to let us know what happened.

      • marie says:

        Sorry I didn’t make myself clear, I meant they may leave hubby in row 15 and move baby & I. I can’t see them giving my 11 month old to someone else to deal with lol!! I was concerned about not sitting with hubby for 1st flight with baby as two pairs of hands are so much better than one with a wriggler!

        • marie says:

          Update – Rang customer services who said if it’s been allocated it’s fine! I pointed out that’s not what their website says so he went and asked a manager….who moved us!!! Thanks for all the useful info on here.

  49. Alexandra says:

    What’s the order of the premium seats ?

  50. George says:

    Lucian excellent work!!! Did exactly what you said, checked in as soon as the online check in opened and did the check in from 2 separate browser windows and me and my girl got seats 33A and 33B ! Many thanks for that!

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