Cape Town - It is Women's Month, a month dedicated to the 'rocks' of the nation as the saying goes "wathintha abafazi, wathinthi imbokodo".
This month commemorates and pays tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. There is no better way to celebrate it than to shine a light on all the independent, brave solo-travellers and adventurous women who dare to explore the globe.
And with travelling made easier for these bespoke 'rocks', New-Delhi based airline, Vistara's scheme - Woman Flyer - is offering preferential services to female passengers travelling solo in a bid to help ensure their “peace of mind” and the safety of their travel.
SEE: Solo Female Traveller in India: Explores gender inequalities
The service offers women help with their bags, and offers to escort them to and from their ground transportation.
The service also allows all female customers to choose their seat either before or after booking a flight.
Even if the traveller hasn’t pre-selected her seat before the flight, the airline claims it will “ensure only a window or aisle seat is assigned at check-in” to its female passengers.
This claim is unclear whether or not it is part of safety or preference shown by the majority of Vistara's female passengers.
On arrival, uniformed Vistara staff will be available at the baggage claim area, holding placards that read "#VistaraWomanFlyer Arrivals Assistance", to assist female travellers with their luggage, the booking of airport-authorised taxis, as well as escort them to the taxi stand on request.
According to Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, the idea for the Woman Flyer service was born after the airline began noticing female travellers seeking assistance at the airport after they had landed.
“Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone,” says Kapoor. “This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”
With such a great safety initiatives, we hope this will be a major contribution to reducing the number of sex-trafficking and abduction at airports around the world. - see New24's latest trafficking article
Solo travelling for women in India a concern
India has the world’s largest population but still, it’s not deemed safe for women due to high rates of gang rapes, domestic violence and human trafficking and female infanticides. Stats indicate that there are more than "50 million cases of female infanticide in the last 30 years". While solo travellers should excercise caution no matter where in the world they travel and it helps to keep these tips in mind.