“This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”
Empty Seats on an Airliner
Credit: Anthony Frabbiele/Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s nothing quite as dread-inducing as realizing you have to fly in the middle seat.

Sure, traveling to a new destination is well worth the hassle, but one airline in India is promising to end the middle seat horror forever, at least for women.

According to the The Telegraph, New Delhi-based airline Vistara is offering up preferred seating as well as baggage and transport assistance to its female passengers who are traveling alone as part of its free Woman Flyer service.

The service allows all female customers to choose their seat either before or after booking a flight. The airline claims it will “ensure only a window or aisle seat is assigned at check-in,” according to The Telegraph.

Upon arrival both at their airport and at their final destination, female travelers will also be greeted by employees holding placards reading "#VistaraWomanFlyer Arrivals Assistance.” These airline employees are available to assist female travelers with luggage and can escort them to the taxi stand upon request.

“Our staff is equipped to help women traveling alone,” Mr Kapoor told Bloomberg. “This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”

So far the airline estimates between 75 and 100 women use the service each day. And while it may seem frivolous, the service could indeed prove important in a country with growing concerns over the safety of female tourists.

While the U.S. State Department has not issued any travel warnings for India, the U.K. government warned its citizens: “Women should use caution when traveling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk.”

And as The Telegraph noted, the airline isn’t the only one helping women feel safer while traveling in India. The country has introduced women-only train cars as well as a women-only cab service in Delhi.