Aiming at filling up vacant business class seats, Air India today launched a scheme where a domestic economy passenger can upgrade to Executive Class after paying Rs 5,000 or Rs 7,000 over and above the original ticket price.
The upgrade scheme, open to domestic passengers holding revenue tickets in economy class including the cheap advance purchase fares, would be available only at the airport before check-in, subject to executive class seat availability and on first-come, first-serve basis.
The scheme, called 'Get Up Front', which is valid till October 31, would be available for travel to 43 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, an Air India spokesperson said.
While a passenger travelling a distance of up to 750 kms would have to pay Rs 5,000 for the upgrade, while those flying over 750 kms, the fixed charge would be Rs 7,000, he said.
If a passenger books an economy Delhi-Mumbai ticket well in advance paying about Rs 5,000, he or she can upgrade to Executive Class by paying another Rs 7,000, taking the total fare to Rs 12,000, which turns out to be much cheaper than an original Executive Class ticket worth over Rs 25,000. Filled-up business class seats are a key revenue earner for an airline's business.
A similar upgrade scheme is already available on Air India's international sectors till June 31, the rates for which depends on the sector and the distance of travel. In some domestic sectors where the airline operates a full-economy aircraft, Air India would reserve the first three rows and offer premium service to the upgraded passengers.
The national carrier also offers an advance purchase fare scheme in various slabs on the 237 holiday packages to 125 domestic tourist and religious destinations to attract leisure and holiday travellers.