MPs Want Automatic Upgrades to Business Class on Flights

The request was made during a meeting on food, consumer affairs and public distribution.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Domestic airlines should automatically upgrade Members of Parliament to business class on flights that have vacant seats in that section, members of the House Panel on Consumer Affairs said on Thursday.

According to Hindustan Times, JC Divakar Reddy, panel chairman and Telugu Desam Party MP, had asked civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey to distribute a circular conveying this demand to all domestic airlines. The request was made during a standing meeting on food, consumer affairs and public distribution.

Why don’t you send a circular saying that, on identification, if there is a seat vacant in the business class, MPs should be provided that seat?
Reddy asked Choubey, according to Hindustan Times

Reddy’s request was backed up by another Samajwadi Party leader Ravi Prakash Verma, who further said that the Civil Aviation ministry should in fact issue an order and send a copy of the same to the panel, the report adds.

This isn’t the first time that MPs have raised this demand. The issue was first brought up during a meeting of the Parliamentary Panel on Civil Aviation last year.

According to standard rules, MPs are allowed 34 free air journeys in a year, can travel via business class and can be accompanied by one more person. However, the Hindustan Times reports says that most MPs, for political or personal work, end up making more number of trips than the estimated amount.

According to The Hindu, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad reportedly assaulted an Air India employee several times with his shoe over not being allotted a business class seat on a flight that did not have a business class section in the first place.

Later, the report adds, that the MP admitted to assaulting the employee and said, “I can try to make someone understand something 10 times, but if they don't, then I will beat them.”

Members of the consumer affairs panel have probably got a pretty good reason for wishing to avoid such instances in the future. They have reportedly received complaints from several MPs about being denied seats in the business class despite there being vacancies in the section, says Hindustan Times.

The domestic airlines offering business class services currently are Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and The Hindu)


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Topics:  India   Air India    Parliament 

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