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Order airlines to cap allocation fee to 20% of flight seats: Flyers, ET TravelWorld

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<p>Currently, most Indian carriers levy an allocation fee for most seats, except a few middle row seats at the rear section of the aircraft</p>
Currently, most Indian carriers levy an allocation fee for most seats, except a few middle row seats at the rear section of the aircraft

With increasingly packed flights, passengers travelling with family or in a group, who opt not to pay a seat allocation fee, often find themselves relegated to middle seats in different rows.

Indian flyers, it seems, have quite a quarrel with that aspect of air travel, with 48% of respondents in a survey stating that the government should mandate airlines to limit seat allocation fee to only 20% of the seats in the passenger cabin.

This airline has added 'Only Adult Zone' on long-haul flights

Europe’s Corendon Airlines is introducing an adults-only seating area on its 10-hour flights between Amsterdam and Curacao. The area, called the “Only Adult” zone, will be located in the first 12 rows of the Airbus A350-900 and will be curtained off from the rest of the aircraft. Passengers will be charged an additional fee of 45 euros (USD 49) for a standard seat or $100 for an XL seat to sit in this zone.

“What is the maximum percentage of seats in an airplane for which airlines should be permitted to charge a seat allocation fee?” “Of the 11,415 flyers who responded to this question 48% said not more than 20% of the seats on a flight, 13% indicated that this could go up to 30% of seats; 5% were willing for 40% of seats; 13% for 50% of seats, 4% for up to 75% and 2% favored allocation charge for all seats,” said LocalCircles, the community social media platform that carried out the survey recently. “Clearly, those who travel by flights believe that the charge should exist for a select number of seats like the exit row and the front row which might offer higher leg space,” it added.

Currently, most Indian carriers levy an allocation fee for most seats, except a few middle row seats at the rear section of the aircraft. For airlines, both low-cost and full service, seat selection fee, which varies from INR 200 to INR 1,500 on domestic flights, has become an important source of ancillary revenue.”During the solutions brainstorming, many flyers highlighted the need for a cap on such paid seat allocations,” said Sachin Taparia of LocalCircles. “For a family of four, the whole system works out to be difficult particularly if parents are travelling with young children and do not reserve seats upfront paying the seat allocation fee,” he added. The nationwide survey received over 34,000 responses from air passengers from 308 districts, with 44% respondents from tier 1 cities, LocalCircles said.

“In the last 12 months, 51% of respondents who booked flights experienced that the airline was charging extra fee for allotment of each seat. The number stood at 35% in 2022 and has jumped to 51% in 2023, possibly indicating that more airlines are now following the practice of charging a seat allocation fee for more seats than they did last year,” it said.

  • Published On Sep 6, 2023 at 09:00 AM IST

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