Indian Airline Launches Program to Protect Women Flying Solo

Friendly skies ahead



(illpaxphotomatic /

The fact that humans have mastered the art of flight is incredible and everyone’s first time on a plane is a mindblowing experience. But let’s be honest: flying today, cramped into a tight space for hours on end, usually with at least two people next to you, isn’t as glorious as it was a few decades ago.

What is an already uncomfortable situation for many, can be a horrific experience for women flying alone. Sexual assault and harassment on planes is a sad reality and India especially, has had to deal with these crimes in recent years.

To change all that, Delhi-based airline Vistara introduced a new program this March aimed at making sure that women flying alone are both comfortable and safe. Based on feedback the airline received from its female passengers, the initiative, called #VistaraWomanFlyer, gives women traveling alone the option to request specific seats, provides help with baggage and transportation and even escorts women to taxis.

Some 70-100 women use the service every day and a total of 8,000 have signed up for the service since its launch in March. Air India, the country’s biggest airline, has also taken steps to make flights safer for female travelers. Since January 2017, a special section in the plane is reserved for women flying solo to ensure that they can spend their flight safely and peacefully.

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