The three worst seats on every Ryanair flight

The three worst seats on every Ryanair flight

On board a Ryanair - Getty plane

On board a Ryanair – Getty plane

Anyone who spends too much time on Twitter will likely be aware that Ryanair recently put their account in the hands of a younger generation. Solving customer puzzles is no longer the raison d’être of his social media team. These days it’s all about what could best be described as “kid jokes”.

New evidence of this metamorphosis came earlier this week when a passenger who claimed to have paid for a window seat shared a photograph of his sight – an exit door with the smallest window imaginable. Sympathy was not forthcoming. Instead, Ryanair simply retweeted his photo with the addition of a red circle around the aforementioned opening, as if to say: “Stop complaining, that’s a window, right?”

It could have been worse for the passenger in question. All Ryanair planes actually contain three “window seats” with even worse views, something other Twitter users have been keen to point out.

I was once assigned one of these – 11A – on a flight to Venice. I couldn’t wait to see the grandstands of the Alps and the Venice Lagoon (well, more or less, Ryanair’s flights to Venice actually land in Treviso, about 20 miles inland). Great opportunity.

My view for the two-hour journey was a white plastic panel. A very nice wall panel, it was. Fire resistant. Clean and bright. But still a wall panel. This is because 11A, on every single Ryanair aircraft (it flies only on one model, the Boeing 737-800), has no window. Neither 11F and 12F, on the other side of the plane. They are window seats without the key feature that makes them window seats.

How does Ryanair get away with it? Surely some sort of refund is in order? Apparently not. A seat is a seat, it seems to be the airline’s philosophy. And, I’ll find out later, whoever pays to choose their seat is notified. “This place has no windows,” says a small pop-up window when you hover over the offending chairs on the website.

Oddly, Ryanair even tries to make the absence of the window a virtue. Its website lists “Seven Seat Hacks You Need To Know Now”, including, at issue five, “When You Want to … Catch Some Zzzzzs”.

“Red-eyed warrior? Not many people realize that Seat 11A has no windows, which means it’s the perfect spot if you’re planning on catching up on some zzzs on a morning flight, ”Ryanair calculates. “This place is also a little late night lifesaver when you’ve spent the day traveling and all you want is a few minutes of closing your eyes.”

Other “hacks” include paying for a seat with extra legroom if you want more legroom. Brilliant.

I’m not the first to be shocked by the secret hidden in line 11. There is also a hashtag, # whereismywindow.

And Twitter is awash with stories. Some flyers are outraged, others are philosophical. But no one can expect compensation for their suffering. In fact, legally speaking, there is nothing that forces airlines to pay when things go wrong on board, whether it’s a broken monitor, a broken seat, a shortage of food, or an overflowing bathroom.

The strangeness of the window is a result of the cabin layout and differs from aircraft to aircraft and from airline to airline.

Telegraph Travel contacted the two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, Airbus and Boeing, to ask if they had control over whether all seats near the window actually had windows.

Airbus said it depends on the airlines as “they are the ones with seat maps for their specific cabin products”, while Boeing added that each carrier equips their own aircraft and this is where “the decision on the interior layout “.

So what are the places to avoid with other carriers?

Norwegian’s 737s have the same problem (avoid seats 10A, 11A and 11F), as do American Airlines’ ones (stay clear of 11A and 11F).

But if you’re flying with easyJet, the windowless perches are in the back, rather than in the middle. Seat 31A, to be exact, for those on its A320 aircraft, and seat 26A and 26F on its A319s.

Not only budget carriers are concerned. BA’s A380s have a handful of window seats with limited or nonexistent views: 70A and 70K, in economy, as well as 12A, 12K, 50A and 50K in Club World. Yes, even premium passengers are not immune.

The best advice is to consult the SeatGuru website before buying and pay attention to the warnings during the booking process. Unless you like fixing plastic wall panels.

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