Attractive Air Fare:
Over the years, air travel has considerably come down. This has given rise to opening of several airlines that lure customers. So how does one stand out and try to get the big catch is the debate among services providers. Several airline have ‘attractive’ offers that they deem fit for customers. So what is the latest catch?
This has given rise to opening of several airlines that lure customers. So how does one stand out and try to get the big catch is the debate among services providers. Several airline have ‘attractive’ offers that they deem fit for customers. So what is the latest catch?
All they (customers) have to do is shell out a little more if they want a middle seat in flights with airlines charging extra for preferred seats as they look to increase their ancillary revenues amid stiff competition.
With regulations permitting unbundling of various services offered by domestic carriers, choosing a particular seat, especially the window ones and those with more leg space, comes at extra cost.
Charging extra for choice of seats in flights, including the middle ones, is a commonly accepted international practice and is not something new. It also helps in adding to the ancillary revenues, aviation industry officials said.
Passengers give more preference for window and aisle seats as well as those having extra leg room, they added.
JETTING OFF IN STYLE
A Jet Airways spokesperson said allowing guests to pre-reserve seats for a fee is a prevalent and commonly accepted industry practice by almost all major airlines, full service as well as low cost, in the world.
‘It is also followed by domestic carriers in India and forms a part of a carrier’s ancillary revenues, compliant with the DGCA guidelines’, he said in a detailed response to queries about charging for preferred seats, including the middle ones.
According to him, in terms of the middle seats, only the front seven rows in the domestic economy cabin can be pre-reserved for a charge while such seats in the remaining 19 rows can be pre-reserved free of charge.
SPICE IT UP
Industry officials said that extra charge is levied for choosing middle and other seats mostly when a passenger makes a choice at the time of online booking or during web check in.
‘The seats are assigned on a first come first served basis at the check in counter. A passenger who needs to select a seat can opt for web check in and block the seat and can also do it while booking flight tickets’, a SpiceJet spokesperson said while responding to queries about charging for choice of middle seats.
ON THE GO
When asked about the practice, a GoAir spokesperson said that currently, it is the ‘only airline to initiate the affordable seat selection offer with seat selection at the least available price from Rs. 99 onwards’.
Guests can pre-book the seats of their choice for a hassle free journey across all sectors offered by GoAir at the lowest available rates compared to other airlines, he added.
‘Seat select is a completely optional service, as within check-in window (24 hours before departure) any guest can select any seat in the cabin that is not already reserved, completely free of charge’, Jet Airways spokesperson said.
OTHERS IN LIST
An IndiGo spokesperson declined to comment for the story. National carrier Air India charges for preferred seats such as window ones but passengers do not have to pay for choosing middle seats, according to an Air India official.
In May this year, the airline extended the facility of preferred seat selection to cover flights operated to SAARC countries, Saudi Arabia and all domestic routes. It was already available for most of its international flights.