The CoronaVirus has all but removed most of the perks that a frequent flier would enjoy, such as meals on a plane and good service. There is no scientific evidence that social distancing on a flight is effective, and airlines are already taking key measures such as mask+face shield for customers.
However, Vistara, in a customer survey made in June 2020 to research travel trends, found out that over 30% of the passengers who participated still see a risk of transmission on board. Another 24% were bothered by other passengers on board, not sticking to the appropriate health protocols.
To enable customers to maintain social distancing on a plane, Vistara has now launched the ability to buy an extra seat, in case you would not like anyone to be seated next to you, Chief Commerical Officer Vinod Kannan announced last evening in a chat with a select group of journalists.
Currently, the airline is enabling this move via travel agents, and they have already sent out a trade note to their travel agent partners to this effect. The adjacent seat can be booked at the same price as the occupied seat at the moment. However, he added, “We are looking to provide this on the online scenario and also provide some kind of incentive by discounts. That is something that is in the works.”
Vistara sees the airline getting back to their pre-lockdown schedule in a couple of months from now (September 2020). The airline is currently seeing 50-60% occupancy on the planes, with 30-40 flights a day. On the weekend, 45-50 flights a day tend to operate due to higher demand. Only one-third of the fleet is being used at the moment.
If you would like to buy an extra seat for your next trip, Vistara will get it to you. Right now available at a full price, but the airline is working towards offering it via their channels and then it would be cheaper as well. However, with planes being half empty right now, one should not be worried about getting a stranger to sit next to you anyways.
What do you think of the new move from the airline to sell you an extra seat? Would you buy a couple of seats to make the next trip?
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