IndiGo faces backlash over free web check-in fiasco, rushes to clarify, but there is a catch
Low-cost carrier IndiGo today said that there is no change in its web check-in practice, saying the company makes dynamic decisions about pricing for Advance Seat selection.
Low-cost carrier IndiGo today said that there is no change in its web check-in practice, saying the company makes dynamic decisions about pricing for Advance Seat selection, keeping in mind consumer preferences and market demand, said an official statement from the carrier.
IndiGo said this process helped it to serve different customer segments as per their requirements, adding "For instance, passengers who would prefer to have extra leg-room seats or would like to be seated together on a flight can make advance reservations and minimize any inconvenience of their preferred seats being not available when they arrive at the airport for check-in."
"Similarly, families or friends who would like to be seated together on a flight can make advance reservations and minimize any inconvenience of contiguous seats being not available when they arrive at the airport for check-in," it said, while adding that the pricing of different seats is dynamic in nature and may vary based on aircraft type, length of the route, occupancy, days before departure etc.
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The statement said that IndiGo customers will not compulsorily have to pay for the seats, as the pricing is only for advance selection of seats.
IndiGo was forced to issue a statement after a controversy broke out over the web check-in feature. Passengers were able to choose certain seats, including aisle seats, free of cost while making the selection online. Now, it was reported that the airline is charging for every seat selection made through the web.
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However, as far as passengers are concerned, there is a big catch involved as can be seen from this statement. IndiGo said that when the customer checks-in at the airport, the seats would be assigned for free, and there is no guarantee that the seat of choice for the passenger would be available at the time of airport check-in, adding "Advance selection for a small fee helps consumers reserve the seat of their choice on their flight."
The preferred seat pricing starts as low as Rs 100, but there would be some seats that may be available for free depending on the market dynamics for the flight, it said, adding that there are some seats that are available for free at a certain time period before departure (e.g. 1 day before departure) or on certain aircraft type (e.g., ATR operated flights).
"If the passengers have no particular preference for seats and would not like to pay for advance seat selection, they can either reserve any free seats available at the time of web check-in or will, of course, be assigned seats at the time of airport check-in," the airline added.
It informed that this is a common practice followed by airlines across the globe.