BENGALURU: The announcement made by IndiGo airlines on Friday stating that a passenger is allowed to book two tickets in one’s name to maintain social distance with their co-passenger, has earned it much ridicule and ire on social media. The middle seat can be booked at 75% of the actual ticket cost from July 25. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had earlier proposed that the middle seat in airlines would be left vacant to ensure social distancing and thereby reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. The proposal was retracted by DGCA before it was implemented stating that airlines felt it would not be financially viable to operate with one-third of seats empty.
The airline in its official statement made public today claimed that it had received requests from the public and was making the `6E Double Seat’ service available. However, the decision did not welcome any excitement or interest among the public. Rather, it appeared to be counter productive as seen by the caustic responses it generated on social media. Mohammed Nadim, a resident of Saudi Arabia, took to Twitter, saying: “Wow new scheme. Double seat, pay double for one..no need 2 seats for one person. People are not crazy. Don’t make fool. Give back money for ticket cancellations, no need of a credit shell.
(sic)” A regular flyer from Bengaluru, Krithika N, told TNIE, “The airline is passing on the responsibility of ensuring safety on its customer. We need to pay through our nose and book two tickets to fly safely on their airline. How cool!” Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy & Revenue Officer, IndiGo said, “Even though air travel is the safest mode of travel at this point, we understand the customers’ need for safety. We were receiving such requests and are happy to introduce the option to book two seats for a single passenger to ensure additional safety. 6E double seat will provide a stress-free flying experience to our customers.”