Industry

GoAir, IndiGo, AirAsia increase baggage fee

Passengers of these airlines will be charged Rs.300 a kg for baggage in excess of 20 kg. File Photo: Reuters

Passengers of these airlines will be charged Rs.300 a kg for baggage in excess of 20 kg. File Photo: Reuters   | Photo Credit: OLIVIA HARRIS

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Action comes after Centre sought to rationalise charges

Domestic low-cost carriers GoAir, IndiGo and AirAsia India have raised the excess baggage fee following a directive from the Centre.

Passengers travelling on these airlines will be charged Rs.300 a kg for carrying baggage in excess of 20-kg according to their websites. These airlines were earlier charging Rs.250 per kg for excess baggage. The action follows the Centre’s directive to rationalise excess baggage.

‘Cross-subsidy’

“The hike is clearly a repercussion of the government’s regulation on excess baggage charges which should have been avoided in first place,” said Dr. Anurag Jain, Aviation Consultant.

“Passengers carrying more than 20 kg bags will have to bear the burden of those carrying less than 20 kg. The airlines have been forced to cross subsidise due to the government’s regulation,” he said.

At present, domestic airlines, except Air India, allow passengers to carry 15-kg luggage free-of-cost. Air India allows passengers to check-in with 25-kg baggage without any cost.

Pre-purchase option

Most of the domestic airlines also give passengers an option to pre-purchase excess baggage at discounted prices at the time of booking tickets on travel portals or through travel agents.

For instance, passengers travelling on GoAir can pre-book 10 kg excess baggage for Rs.2,000 instead of paying Rs.3,000 to the airline at the airport counter. The current move comes days after the Union Civil Aviation Ministry’s directives to all domestic airlines asking them to charge Rs.100 per kg for carrying five-kg extra baggage on flights beyond the free limit of 15 kg.

Beyond 20 kg, SpiceJet charges Rs. 300 a kg, Jet Airways Rs.350 a kg and Vistara Rs.300 a kg (excluding taxes).

Most airlines abroad charge passengers for every check-in luggage.

Passengers are also allowed to carry one hand bag weighing seven kg free of cost on flights.

Recently, full-service carrier Jet Airways started charging passengers from six metros Rs.900 for carrying extra cabin bag. The move was intended to deter them from carrying extra hand baggage.

Jet Airways allows passengers to take one hand bag, weighing seven (economy class) or 10 kg (business class) and one laptop bag free of cost.

Rule challenged

The Federation of Indian Airlines, representing GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet, had moved the Delhi High Court recently challenging the Centre’s rule on five-kg excess baggage fee that came into effect from July 1 this year. The airlines had termed the move “illegal” and “beyond the statutory jurisdiction” of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). However, the DGCA contested saying the Centre had power to issue such directives under the Aircraft Act of 1934.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 3:09:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/GoAir-IndiGo-AirAsia-increase-baggage-fee/article14501103.ece

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