The order, issued to Airports Authority of India,
Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the airlines, allows the
retired bureaucrats and their immediate family free automatic
upgrades to first class cabins on any Air-India flight.
Air India so far used to give these privileges to only
those of its Chairmen or CMDs who had completed their tenure.
A former Chairman, P C Sen, who had not completed his full
tenure, even moved court to get the facility but failed to get
it, sources said.
Along with this latest order, the Ministry issued a
list of 24 former secretaries who would be entitled to these
facilities. The only former secretary still in service is
Ashok Chawla who is now the Finance Secretary.
The difference between Economy and First Class tickets
could be massive. While a Delhi-London economy class return
ticket could range between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000, a First
Class seat would cost around Rs two lakh.
Depending on availability of seats in First Class in a
particular flight, these former officials would get the
"facility of upgrades of tickets for self and immediate family
for travel to the highest class available by Air India/Indian
Airlines," the order said.
Under the order, the former bureaucrats would also be
issued an Orange Security Pass which would give them
privileges of protocol and escort services at any airport in
India, including access to VIP lounges and VIP parking areas.
A Purple Security Pass would be issued to them for
facilitation at Delhi airport.
The Orange Pass also allows its holder unrestricted
access to any area inside the airport.
The Ministry asked the concerned agencies and airlines
to "take initiative from your side to get necessary papers
completed from the concerned dignitaries for issuing them
necessary papers/parking labels, etc", the order said.
A Ministry official, requesting anonymity, said this
was a courtesy being extended to former bureaucrats since
most of them were aged and facilitation would help in removing
their travel woes.
New Delhi: In a move that will impose
more burden on ailing Air India, the Civil Aviation Ministry
has decided to give all its previous secretaries life-long
free upgrades on air tickets to first class and access to
lounges at any airport in the country.
First Published: Saturday, March 27, 2010, 20:31