Airline Introducing Rows Just For Women Amid Recent Reports Of Groping

Image courtesy of Themarcogoon49

We’ve heard of “quiet zones” on planes that separate children from adults, but a new seating option launching on India’s national airline is new to us: amid reports of men groping and otherwise sexually assaulting women on flights, Air India is introducing female-only rows.

Two rows on every flight will now be designated for women, Air India announced, after two incidents in the last month of men allegedly groping cabin staff or other passengers, reports The Guardian.

There will be no fee to sit in the designated rows, which will debut this week on domestic flights, followed by the rest of the airline’s network throughout the year. Officials made the decision because “it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers,” Air India’s general manager Meenakshi Malik said.

After the recent sexual assault reports, Air India also announced this month that its crew would begin carrying restraints on flights as a last resort in case unruly passengers act up.

It’s not a completely unusual idea in India to separate the sexes for safety purposes, as The Guardian notes: there are already segregated train carriages and buses, and women-only auto-rickshaws in two cities near Delhi.