Friday, December 07, 2018

Fly like Maharaja: Flyers can now bid for Air India business class

To ensure transparency in its upgrade policy, Air India has devised a new mechanism. Under the scheme, if economy class passengers wish to upgrade to business class, they need to offer a bid to fly as business category passengers. The national carrier has decided to auction business class seats under the ‘preferred seat option’ on its website. Under this option, economy class seats can now be upgraded to the business class without a minimum payout.
The full-service carrier rolled out the model this week on domestic and international flights originating from Delhi.

For instance, a passenger who has booked an economy seat between Delhi and Mumbai can offer any sum to access business class facilities provided. He/she would be upgraded if it turns out to be the highest bid. After the check-in roster is prepared, the airport manager can allocate vacant business class seats at the time of boarding depending on top bids.
Earlier, the airline used to upgrade seats against a fixed charge ranging between Rs 4,500 and Rs 6,000 for domestic flights and $200-1000 on international flights depending on countries. This system did not yield desired results as premium seats still went unsold.

The measure will help the cash-strapped airline fill vacant business class seats for additional revenue. On an average, 30-40% seats in the business class category of the airline go vacant causing significant loss of revenue.
07/12/18 Arun Nayal/Financial Express