ARE airlines splitting up families on flights so that they are forced to pay more to sit together? There is a crackdown on such a practice in the UK where such an “exploitative” algorithm is used towards this end.
British Digital Minister Margot James has described the software as “a very cynical, exploitative means ... to hoodwink the general public”, the Independent of the UK reported.
“Some airlines have set an algorithm to identify passengers of the same surname travelling together,“ she told a parliamentary communications committee.
“They’ve had the temerity to split the passengers up, and when the family want to travel together they are charged more.”
This practice was came to light in 2017, when passengers reported Irish budget airline Ryanair for it. It denied splitting up passengers deliberately and said those who didn’t pay for a chosen seat were “randomly” allocated one.
The practice has also been reported by British Airways passengers. Lawyer Jo Lightning tweeted in Oct: “BA charging us £39, (RM209) to enable us to sit next to our 14-year-old despite a row of seats being available. Very poor.”