In a bid to make air fares more affordable for flyers, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed domestic flight operators to provide concessions in ticket to passengers travelling without baggage or only cabin baggage.
Passengers who are willing to avail the concession, are required to mention the weight of their baggage at the time of booking.
“As part of airline baggage policy, scheduled airlines will be allowed to offer free baggage allowance as well as ‘zero baggage/no check in baggage fares’. This will be subject to the condition that the passenger booking ticket under such fare scheme is made aware of the charges that shall be applicable if the passenger turns up with the baggage for check in at the airline counter. These applicable charges shall be reasonable; prominently displayed to the passenger at the time of booking of ticket and also to be printed on the ticket,” DGCA said in a circular.
At present, airlines allow passengers to carry up to 7 kg of hand or cabin baggage and up to 15 kg of check-in baggage. A passenger is needed to pay if their baggage exceeds the prescribed weight. However, under the new rule, if a passenger is carrying hand baggage within the stipulated weight, will be given discount on his/her ticket.
“On the basis of various feedback received, it is felt that many times these services provided by the airlines may not be required by the passengers while travelling. Considering the fact that unbundling of services and charges thereto has the potential to make basic fare more affordable and provide consumer an option of paying for the services which he/she wishes to avail, it has been decided by the government to allow these services to be unbundled and charged separately on opt-in basis,” the DGCA said.
The DGCA has also allowed “unbundling” of services like mean-snack drink charges, airline lounge, preferential seating, sports equipment charge etc.
The airlines have been left to decide on the revised rates.