EVERYONE grumbles about the injustices of air travel, but most people assume that the inequities are at least grounded in a fair system. Pay for business class (or have your company pay), and you get comfort and free drinks. Go frugal with basic economy and get stuck in a lousy seat without a carry-on bag. But it is not always a proper free market at 35,000 feet. Sometimes, corruption skews the equation.
For instance, on Air India, the country’s state-owned flag carrier, who you know can apparently determine where you sit. The airline’s chief executive, Pradeep Singh Kharola, recently felt compelled to admonish his staff to stop upgrading friends and family members for free from economy class to business or first.
“It has come to my knowledge that operating crew carry out upgrades to business and first class unofficially during the flight for their friends and relatives,” Mr Kharola wrote on March 13th to his employees, in a letter that was...Continue reading