NEW DELHI: In a bid to get people to fly again, Indian airlines have started giving the option of keeping the adjacent seat vacant — which means buy two seats for yourself but at less than twice the normal fare.
IndiGo on Friday said it will launch its “double seat bookings” from July 24, 2020, where the second seat will cost about 25% less than the normal fare. Customers will be able to opt for this only at the time of booking creation on IndiGo’s website. This option will not be available through travel portals, IndiGo call centre, airport counters or after making the original single seat booking.
“The 6E double seat scheme will not attract any airports charges like PSF, UDF and will only be an airline component and GST, hence will be priced at a lower rate than the total fare paid for original booking. The charges for extra seat will be effectively up to 25% of the original booking cost, the airline said.
IndiGo chief strategy and revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said: “Even though air travel is the safest mode of travel at this point, we understand the customers’ 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. 6E double seat will provide a stress-free flying experience to our customers. We are constantly working towards measures and services to strengthen air travel as the safest choice for travellers. We are confident that this option will enhance the passenger comfort and trust, augmenting the overall demand for air travel”.
The buy-two-seats-for-self offer was first announced by Vistara and then by GoAir. With aircraft occupancy of 60% these days, airlines are hoping this scheme helps them sell more seats.
“The seat selection charges under the 6E double seat scheme will be applicable for both seats and it will be a mandatory selection requirement at the time of booking. Regular change & cancellation charges based on the type of fare purchased will be applicable on extra seat(s). The extra seat booking will not be entitled for additional baggage allowance for customers. The extra seat can also be used by passengers travelling with a large musical instrument or a child’s car seat or for special seating needs due to personal comfort, size or disability,” IndiGo said in a statement.