Airline the First to Offer ‘Women-Only Seats’

Air India has become the first Airline in the world to offer women-only seating on board their planes.  These seats will be 6 seats reserved on the third economy row, specifically for solo female travellers to use.  An official from Air India says the new seating arrangements will “give female passengers more choice and comfort”.

Although the airline claim these new seats are nothing to do with alleged groping incidents on their planes, the change comes relatively quickly after a woman flying from Mumbai to New York claimed she woke up after being groped by a man who moved to an empty seat next to her.  Not long after, a female flight attendant alleged she was molested and subjected to vulgar language by a male passenger.

The seats will be offered at no extra cost, and can be requested up to an hour before check-in closes.  At the moment, you can only find the female-only row of seats on domestic flights, however, the airline may add them to international flights after seeing how effective they are.  It will be interesting to see if other airlines follow suit and introduce their own ‘female only’ seating and whether there is a demand for this service from solo female passengers.

Heathrow Airport – Thick Fog Delays

Flights in and out of London’s airports have been hit by major delays and cancellations as a blanket of thick fog descended on the capital.

Londoners awoke on Saturday to mist and thick fog which has sparked severe travel disruption at the capital’s airports on one of the busiest days for passengers in the winter as people head off on Christmas getaways.

Scores of flights at Heathrow and London City Airport have been grounded, diverted or cancelled with planes also held up at Gatwick.

Bosses at City Airport described the fog as “significant” as they urged travellers to check journeys with their airlines.

Airport Staff in Pre-Christmas Strike

Check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew at UK airports are planning a 48-hour strike from 23 December

The union said more than 1,500 workers at Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handler, would walk out following a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Unite said the action, which will hit Christmas travel, was “a last resort”.

Swissport said it was making plans to “minimise disruption” to passengers.

It is unclear exactly how many airports will be affected, but airlines at Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester airports all employ Swissport staff.

Hand-luggage only

A spokesman for MAG, owners of Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, said: “We are aware of this potential action and are contacting the airlines which use Swissport to understand their contingency plans to minimise any disruption were the strikes to go ahead.”

A spokesman for airline Ryanair said: “All of our flights to and from the UK are scheduled to operate as normal.

“Should this action proceed, our flights may operate with hand-luggage only and we will update customers accordingly.”