Air India keeps coming up with all sorts of innovative ways of staying in the news, and their newest one is no less. Their CMD, Ashwani Lohani, seems to have picked up one of the facilities from his Indian Railways days’ playbook, and decided to implement it up in the air.
Tomorrow, Air India will announce a decision to block 6 seats on all their narrow-body planes (one row) for women travelling alone. The facility will be available from January 18, 2017 onwards, and will be free of cost. The only qualification, you need to be a woman, and booked to travel alone (i.e., only passenger on the reservation). The seats will be blocked in the third row of the economy section of the plane.
I’m not sure at the moment if the facility will be provided on international flights as well or just domestic planes, but this is another one of those moves from Air India I do not support. Rationale? Reservation is no good till it is implemented very well, and this sort of policing is really not required. Just like the Indigo child-free zones are not required on flights.
Air India’s rationale is that separating women on the third row will save these passengers from harassment, but for that, they need to have fitter crew in the airline who can restrain such unruly passengers and not implement such useless rules. What about all the other women travelling on the same plane who are not in Row 3? And what about when Row 3 fills up and more people want these reserved rows?
Stay Classy, Air India, Stay Classy! Focus on things that matter, such as having a good passenger experience and not broken planes.
Do you guys think this is a wise idea which will be implemented well? Or is this just another smokescreen from Air India which will go away quietly at some point of time?