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Airlines to let travelers select seats next to women travelers

08, Jun 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

Mumbai. Keeping with its corporate culture of incorporating women in various business processes across verticals, UB Group has decided to add a new feature on the same lines to its aviation business. Passengers traveling by Kingfisher Airlines will now have an extra option of selecting seats lying next to those selected by women co-passengers. They could exercise this option while booking or at the time of check-in.

“Would you like a window seat or isle seat or a seat next to a lady, sir?” was the question popped out to our ugly reporter by this beautiful almond eyed Kingfisher check-in counter staff, which led us to the discovery of this breaking news.

In company of women
Indian men like to travel with women co-passengers

As an introductory offer, this service is free at the time of check-in and the information is also made available if one chooses to select seats while booking of tickets, but sources indicate that soon a premium could be charged from the willing passengers.

“Currently we just have information on a lady’s age, but we are in the process of gathering further information like her photograph, relationship status, weight, complexion, and if possible, stats related to her figure and curves as well. Once we have these set of information, we could think of charging something between 100 rupees to 5000 rupees to disclose these to the willing passengers.” a Kingfisher employee said.

The company believes that many Indian men secretly desire to get a seat next to a good looking lady, and such a facility will help Airlines attract new and loyal customers. Other airlines have conceded that this was a brilliant innovation by the Kingfisher group and could help them race ahead in the competition, but the decision has also come under sharp criticism from various quarters.

Some groups have accused the UB Group of downgrading and trivializing air travel by playing up upon such ‘petty’ and ‘earthy’ desires of men, and have termed it as ‘dumbing down of air travel’.

“We had heard of such stuffs while booking bus-tickets and people checking out railway reservation charts to find out which berths have women passengers, but this is extreme. There is an element of ‘class’ involved in air travel and this step will simply destroy that class.” protested Manish from JNU, who had earlier raised his voice against the ‘cattle-class’ remark of Shashi Tharoor.

Women groups too have criticized the step terming it as outrageous, unethical, and unconstitutional.

“Basically they would declare all the women traveling by their airlines as ‘available’. Who gave them this right? Furthermore, who are they to decide who should be the co-passenger of a woman? It is a violation of the right to privacy of all women!” protested Nirmala, again from JNU, as her concerns were flashed on all television news channels, apparently because she was the best looking among the protesting lot.

But UB Group has rubbished all such charges and has defended their decision on grounds of being based on sound business principles and practices.

“Height of Media’s absurdity again! We would allow passengers some extra options so we are compromising with privacy of a woman! God help us!” tweeted Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the UB Group.