Those flying economy will be allowed to carry 15 kg while the allowance for business class will remain 35 kg

Air India’s decision to cut down on baggage allowance from 25 kg to 15 kg has left loyal customers fuming. Passengers said that this move may not be a wise one for the ailing airline.

44-year-old Sanjay Kumar Sharma, a Chennai-based businessman, who often flies to Delhi and Mumbai, said that it was a bad idea to burden passengers with such restrictions.

“How can we travel to Delhi during winter with this restriction? We won’t be able to carry sufficient clothing within the limits,” he wondered.

In the last week of April, the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed five domestic airlines including Air India to charge for a host of facilities they offer. Subsequently, on May 6, Air India announced that free baggage allowance for an economy class passenger would be reduced from 25 kg to 15 kg for domestic travel with effect from May 13 and those carrying excess baggage will be charged between Rs. 200 and Rs. 250 per kilo.

The allowance for business class will remain 35 kg.

Those belonging to the middle class, who are much more inclined to fly these days, will be the most affected, said A.V.S Ramani, president of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Agents Association of India. “If a four-member family goes on a holiday, they are bound to carry quite a bit of baggage with them. If they carry 20 kilos more and pay about Rs. 200 per kilo, the amount itself would be the equivalent of one person’s air fare in some cases,” he said.

T. Satish (35), an employee of a corporate, said the only option left was to pack frugally. “I will be forced to cut down on extra clothing that I carry in anticipation of an emergency. The only other way I can abide by the rule is to get rid of my jogging clothes and shoes,” said Mr. Satish, who travels to Delhi frequently.

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