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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Budget fliers pay for added leg space

Are you a frequent flier often cramped for legroom on domestic flights? Low cost airlines can help improve your plight, for a price, reports Soubhik Mitra.

india Updated: May 13, 2008 03:16 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
Hindustantimes
         

Are you a frequent flier often cramped for legroom on domestic flights? Low cost airlines can help improve your plight, for a price. Besides forking out an additional Rs 50 or Rs 100 for seats that offer better legroom, you’ll also have to reach the airport a couple of hours in advance.

Mumbai-based marketing executive Shupriti Hazra, for instance, reaches the domestic terminal two hours before departure, when her Santacruz apartment is just 5 minutes away. At the check-in counter, she hands over her e-ticket and asks for a seat next to the emergency exit.

“These seats have better legroom compared to other aisle and window seats,” said Hazra. If she flies Indigo, her request would cost her Rs 100. On GoAir, it would be Rs 50.

“The emergency exit row has 12 seats. Typically, three to four of these are pre-sold for Rs 100 in a flight,” said Bruce Ashby, chief executive officer, Indigo.

Even full fare carriers are flooded with demands for these seats. Kingfisher, for instance, gets 24 requests for 12 seats, said an airlines official.

On GoAir, about 10 per cent of passengers at the airport counter prefer to book these seats, said an official. Due to the high demand from passengers, the airline started a facility by which fliers could pick the seat of their choice while booking online.

Passengers opting for seats on the emergency row don’t just have to pay the extra bit. In case of any emergency, they have to assist the cabin crew as well. “It is as simple as tightening the seat belts,” said Ankur Bhatt, a frequent traveller who runs a garment business in Delhi.