India’s national carrier Air India has decided to honour recipients of war and peacetime gallantry awards by providing them a free upgrade to the business class if seats are vacant at the time of boarding.
Soldiers who have been bestowed with military honours such as Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), Vir Chakra (VC), Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra will get the immediate upgrade.
According to an Air India official, the initiative would be implemented from this month itself and the decision for the above was taken by Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani.
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The Indian Armed Forces are already eligible for various benefits with regards to flying on domestic air carriers such as Air India. The active military personnel and their family members are already provided 50 per cent discounts on basic air fare on select classes while they are travelling on domestic network on their own expense.
This move will now also provide benefits to soldiers who have retired.
All they have to do to get the benefit of the upgrade scheme is to produce their identity cards at the airline’s check-in counters at the time of boarding.