Airlines can levy preferred seating charge only on 15% of seats

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 28, 2013


Govt bid to limit preferred seats charges

The Government plans to set a limit on the number of seats for which airlines can levy the preferred seating charge.

This follows protests by passengers within a month of the unbundling of airfares that allows airlines to charge separately for preferred seats and baggage beyond a certain weight.

Circular soon

A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said the preferred seat charge will now be limited to 15 per cent of the total number of seats available on a flight. A circular will soon be issued on this.

“We think that six seats each in the front seat and emergency exit rows (which offer extra legroom) can be put up for preferred seating charge. Apart from this, window and aisle seats in rows between 2 and 5 may also attract preferred seat charge,” the official said.

The official said that airlines will also have to mention on their Web sites that bookings can be made with or without the preferred seat charge. Airlines will have to ensure that all safety precautions are followed strictly while pre-assigning seats. This means that at the time of booking, no child or a person with limited mobility can be offered seats on the emergency exit rows, even if the passenger is willing to pay more.

After fares were unbundled, budget carrier IndiGo started charging extra for all window and aisle seats as also a premium for several rows in the front and the emergency exit rows.

Jet Airways introduced seating premium on international flights, while GoAir started charging for preferred seating.

Charges on domestic flights range between Rs 200 and Rs 500 for a preferred seat, depending on the row/location. Air India and SpiceJet are mulling introducing preferred seating charge.  

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Published on May 28, 2013
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