I'm a business SLF and on a recent flight from Ancona to STN on boarding the aircraft the crew instructed the SLF not to sit in the first six rows nor the last 4 rows. I initially thought this was so the crew had less area to clean on turnaround but during the flight they allowed SLF to sit in the front six rows if they wanted as long as they returned to their original seats prior to landing at STN . I have heard this is something to do with "balance" but I would appreciate a Ryanair or other driver letting me in on the mystery if they would please.
It is pure and simple a balance exercise: the moment arms at the front and rear are greater, hence with certain pax loads rows are blocked to keep the weight in the centre of the aircraft. If Ryanair didn't free seat, the boarding cards and seats issued at check in would have a similar result.
Anyway, why on earth would a business SLF fly Ryanair?
As an example: Depending on the time of day, for Heathrow I need to allow 3 hours driving time, but arrive in Hamburg. An alternative is Ryanair onto Lubeck, and then a pleasant drive in a hired Mercedes down the German Autobahn for an hour.
Why would a business fly Ryanair indeed , not through choice I may tell you . I do a lot of business in the Marche region of Italy and especially close to Ancona , in Jesi and Castelplanio so if you could suggest another way of getting to Ancona without Ryanair please do tell ! I could fly BA to Bologna and get a two hour train to Ancona or fly to Rome and get a 1 hour flight with Alitalia to Ancona
Understand my predicament ? so I am actually grateful to Ryanair for providing that service which I have used many times .
Forgive the question but if the max t/o weight of the 737-800 is 77999 kg and 10 rows of 6 pax each with an av weight of 70 kg = 4200 kg would that really make a difference to the trim settings ?
this would make such a massive difference u would not believe! i regularly despatch all models of 737`s and let me tell u that if a 738 does not have a full pax load and u dont block a few rows you will run into some major issues ... with assigned seating the girls in check-in will, in their infinite wisdom, will start checking at the front and work to the back..... this aint good.
You only have to block off the mentioned rows if the aircraft is not full and below a certain pax figure, as mentioned, when rule two is used this is to increase the range of the stab trim to allow for a take off within the AC limits, this may not be needed if Ryanair used the aft cargo comps, but due to the restrictions in the 25 min turnaround it is not possible to get the equip needed for this exercise, therefore only the front two tend to be used causing them to position the walking payload...
blocking off the first 6 rows and last 4 is a weight and balance rule called rule 2 which if under 132 pax is used if the zfw balance units exceed the limits or if more than 178 pax once again only if the balance limits exceed then you can subtract 0.4 balance units from the aft and add to the forward balance units ie with a limit of zfw 42000-43999 the balance limits are 5.4 to 5.8 it would then become 5.0 to 6.2 if your zfw was say for example 42455.9 hope that makes sense.