Ryanair announced a new policy that from 1 Sept 2016 all customers travelling with children (U12) will benefit from lower reserved seat fees which will be cut from €4 to €0 for children (U12).
Under this new policy, one adult in every booking with children (U12) must purchase a reserved seat at the time of booking (which will cost €4) and then all children (U12) in the same booking will receive free reserved seats.
From 1 September, it will become mandatory for any customer travelling with children (U12) to buy reserved seats at the time of booking to ensure that these customers are always seated together. It will not be mandatory for teenagers and other adults in the booking to purchase a reserved seat, however they may choose to do so.
Ryanair is introducing this initiative after a busy summer when most of Ryanair flights were full (load factor 94%) but many adults travelling with young children did not select reserved seats and accordingly were randomly allocated seats that were not together (due to the large number of Ryanair customers who are already reserving their preferred seats). This caused boarding issues when crews would try to reseat passengers with young children. Ryanair’s crews cannot move customers who have already paid for their preferred seats to simply accommodate other customers who are travelling with young children, who declined to reserve their seats and chose to have randomly allocated seats.