Business Standard

Air India launches new programme to simplify purchased cabin upgrades

Air India passengers can choose these upgrades to premium cabins between 72 hours and 12 hours before a scheduled flight, subject to the availability of seats in the cabin

Air India

Air India

Ajinkya Kawale Mumbai

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Air India has launched a new offering, Upgrade+, for passengers with an eligible booking to purchase upgrades to the premium cabins at fixed prices. 

Air India passengers can choose these upgrades between 72 hours and 12 hours before a scheduled flight, subject to the availability of seats in the cabin. 

Passengers can also buy cabin upgrades at the airline’s airport counters during check-in. 

These premium cabins include 'premium economy', available on select flights to North America, 'business class' on all domestic and international routes, and 'first class' on select long-haul routes. 

"Air India guests will receive the benefits of the upgraded cabin, such as increased baggage allowance, priority check-in at dedicated counters, boarding and baggage handling, on board amenities, and a delectable culinary experience," the airline said. 

With Upgrade+, the airline has scrapped its 'Bid Upgrade' programme, which required passengers who had booked the airline's ticket to bid for cabin upgrades. 

This earlier programme required passengers to wait up to four hours before their flight's departure to choose an upgrade. 

Currently, the airline is undergoing a five-year transformation plan. 

The company had placed an order of 470 aircraft across Boeing and Airbus in February this year. 

Air India MD and CEO Campbell Wilson recently said that the airline would increase its wide-body fleet by 30 per cent as it plans to add six new A350 aircraft, five leased B777-200LR planes and nine B777-300ER aircraft during this fiscal year. 

Wilson recently stated that he and other Air India executives visited Apple's Palo Alto office to explore opportunities for 'even deeper collaboration'.

He had in May mentioned that the airline is exploring opportunities to collaborate with Apple on issues such as improvement in flight-planning software which pilots use. 

In a previous message to the airline's employees, Wilson also added that the company is set to add 500 new flight crew members to service in each of the coming months. 

The airline is also investing in a 'leading-edge software', expected to be completely operational by early 2024, to enable the flight crew to be reassigned and passengers immediately rebooked if the airline faced any disruption, Business Standard reported last week.

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First Published: Jul 25 2023 | 10:53 PM IST

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