Indigo implements middle seat ‘privilege’ charges, rolls it back

Earlier in the month, when unbundling was notified by law for Indian airlines to be able to charge for services, I wrote a blog post which mentioned how I expected it would work out. One of the statements I made was:

a) Preferential Seating: I am looking at you Indigo, and I am thinking, you will try to sell almost all window and aisle seats as preferential seats maybe. Because you’re so money minded.

However, in my wildest dreams, I had not thought that imagination at Indigo would run so wild as to charging for assignment of a middle-seat on the plane as a preferred/privileged seat as well. In doing so, they were not charging for preferred seating, which was what the government notified, but for the privilege of choosing your seat before everyone else does. Way out of line from what the intentions of the government were meant to be.

This move, kind of got the nerve of the government who started making noises about regulating the unbundling bit (something they were supposed to do anyways!). Uh oh, and now quietly, without as much as a whimper, Indigo has withdrawn that middle seat charge. As of today, their latest Seat Plus offering looks like this:

Invalid request error occurred.

The interesting bit to note here, you can now pre-assign yourself the middle seat, if you prefer.

I hope Indigo does not start to lose the respect of the flying public it worked so long to gain and get to be known for their nickeling and diming more than their on-time services.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. This is a standard way in which Indigo operates. Earlier DGCA had said that you cannot charge for seat selection. At that time, Indigo came up with the idea of bundling food with ‘free’ seat selection – the price charged was much higher than the regular food in the aircraft. ie. it was a backdoor entry into charging for seat selection. Against the SPIRIT of the law. Now they have come up with another idea that is against the SPIRIT of the law. The regulator should fine them immediately.

  2. Still another way to say to charge extra. Its funny how the airline industry is the most penny miser one !

  3. What’s the problem for charging for the middle seat if its in a priority row or not. Charging for the pre selection of a seat is done by every other low cost carrier in the works??!

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