Air India has been operating flights to the USA since forever. They currently operate direct flights between India and the US (Chicago, New York (JFK/Newark) and San Francisco). On a usual flight with Air India, all the preferred seats are blocked out, and even elites cannot select them for free, as compared to other carrier policies. This is a major uncompetitive step by them, but hey, this is Air India we are talking about.
Take this A321 operated flight for instance. Even as an elite, I am unable to select row 4, 9 or 22 which are the extra leg space seats. All along I’ve been told these are allocated at the airport, however, I never seem to get these seats at the airport, because someone else already has them.
I used to think this is a system limitation, but I guess it is not. Air India has recently started selling premium seats on their US bound long haul flights, for USD 50 per passenger. The following seats are earmarked for sale @ USD 50 per head when travelling from the US, or INR 3500 when travelling from India: Row 17, 18, 19, 27, 41 on the B77W and Row 17,18,19, 30 on the B77L
For reference, AI operates a B77L to SFO, and a B77W over to ORD, EWR and JFK. These seats are available for sale/pre-blocking up to 48 hours before flight time. To be able to pay for the service, one can either visit Air India’s airport or city reservation offices, or one can call Air India (India: 1800 180 1407, US: 1800 223 7776). Here is the page which details the other requirements.
If you are flying Air India, I think these are very reasonable prices for such long flights to get an extra leg room space. I’d also like to congratulate Air India for these moves where they are trying to monetize ancillary services.
But I also feel that Air India should be giving these to their elites at least for free. And I wonder what would happen to everyone who is travelling with an infant now. Would they be able to still get these seats for free, or they will have to pay to be able to be close to the Bassinet is anyone’s guess.
Would you guys pay to get these extra-leg room seats?