The Seat Next To The Lady

Recently, the latest player in the online travel business, Travelyaari.com brought in the option of “block your seat next to a lady” on your next bus journey.
Yeah, I know. My eyes lit up too for a moment there.

But no, buddies, your lifelong dream of getting a seat next to a pretty gal, will stay a dream, at least for now. What it does mean, is that ladies will get the option of selecting a seat next to another lady on a bus journey when booking online.

Its surprising redbus.in did not already think of this feature, which has been common since ’98 or ’99 or even before in the brick-and-mortar bus travel industry.

This would be great news for women, who usually book online, and always run the risk of getting a seat next to either a creepy male passenger, or ending up staying awake all night to avoid a bobbing head from landing on their shoulders.
The funny thing though, is that I don’t suppose the creepy thing or the bobbing heads thing happens often in other countries, out of respect for women, thus perhaps making the concept of a ‘ladies seat’ irrelevant there.

So then, just to make sure these guys actually had the option, I went onto Travelyaari.com and tried booking a seat next to a seat booked by a lady. It allowed me to do so (no, I didn’t actually go through with the payment). Then I tried booking a ladies seat (there is no such specific option). Though if you enter your sex as Female (that makes it a ‘lady is gonna sit on that seat’) I didn’t see any option restricting the next seat only to ladies).

So maybe guys can actually pick a seat next to a lady. Which also means Travelyaari.com might actually screw its own business prospects with such a decision. And redbus.in is missing out by not having the traditional ‘ladies seat’ option.

2 thoughts on “The Seat Next To The Lady

  1. Hello Shrutin.

    I couldn’t understand the use-case you tried out. Anyway, most bus operators do not allow booking from opposite sex to sit next to each other; unless it’s in the same transaction. (i.e. you are booking 2 seats – a male & female).

    [1] If you are booking 1 female seat – then you will be allowed to book a seat next to a *female*.

    [2] If you are booking 1 female seat – then you will *not* be allowed to book a seat next to a *male*.

    [3] A similar rule applies for male seat booking.

    [4] If you are a male, and book a seat spoofing as a female – then operator(s) will not allow you to travel at the time of boarding the bus. 🙂

    1. Hi Rithish,
      What I was trying to explain was, that in the good old travel agent way of doing things (where we’d pick the phone, call our local agent and ask him to book tickets for us), there was the option of a ladies seat (at least in the Mangalore/ Bangalore/ Bombay circles that I was aware of, all the way back from 1999 or earlier).
      Now redbus.in does not have any ladies seat feature/ option. (Strange!)

      With regard to Travelyaari.com, what I did was, went onto the site, picked 2 random locations (think they were Bangalore and Mumbai), random dates, and when the search results popped up, I picked a bus which showed a single ladies seat occupied (seat next to her was not booked yet). And I selected the seat next to her, and clicked next. It took me directly to the ‘passenger details and payment page’. Ideally, the moment a passenger selects a seat next to a lady (and selects sex as male), your site should prompt him to select another seat. But that did not happen (beating the purpose of a ladies seat).
      Your team needs to look into that.
      And I’d even suggest going one step further. What you guys could do is, give women the option to choose if they want (i) only a lady sitting next to them, or (ii) they don’t care. Because there could be many ladies/ girls who wouldn’t bother if they were seated next to a guy or a girl, and this would even make the allocations for Travelyaari a bit easier.

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