Passengers wary of sitting shoulder-to-shoulder while travelling by flight now have an option to book an additional seat at a lower cost and ensure that the next passenger is seated at an arm’s length. The scheme, while allowing peace of mind to passengers, also a revenue earner for airlines with most flights recording 30%-40% vacant seats.
Low-cost airline IndiGo introduced the 6E double booking scheme on Friday, allowing passengers to book air tickets for twin seats, starting July 24. Vistara has also announced a twin-seat booking option where only the airline ticket component and GST will be charged and not airport levies like passenger service fee and urban development free.
Vistara and GoAir have also introduced similar schemes sensing flyers’ willingness to pay extra to ensure safety. While Vistara allows passengers to purchase the additional seat at the time of booking, GoAir has introduced an option for passengers in the first two rows.
IndiGo, too, has a rider. The airline has introduced the scheme only for passengers booking seats directly on the airline’s website but not through other travel portals, IndiGo call centre or airport counters. Also, passengers who have booked tickets earlier will not be able to avail of the twin seat offer.
The airline said any kind of changes and cancellation charges based on the type of fare would be applicable on the extra seat. Also, booking the extra-seat will not entitle the passenger to additional baggage allowance.
IndiGo chief strategy & revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said, “Even though air travel is the safest mode of travel at this point, we understand the passengers’ emotional need for safety. We had been receiving such requests and are happy to introduce the option to book two seats for a single passenger to ensure additional safety.” Travel agents said the offer was a gimmick given that flights were operating at low capacity.
Source: Times of India