New Delhi: Aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed domestic flight operators to give concessions in ticket prices to passengers who carry no baggage or only cabin baggage.
Remember that as per the current rules, a passenger can carry up to 7 kilograms of cabin baggage and 15 kilograms of check-in baggage. Any additional weight is chargeable. The new rule by DGCA will allow the flight operators to provide tickets at lesser prices to those who opt to travel with no baggage or only with cabin baggage within the permissible weight limit.
In order to avail the concession, passengers will have to declare at the time of the booking of the ticket the weight of baggage they will be carrying.
“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,” the aviation watchdog said in a statement.
The aviation body has also allowed unbundling of other services like preferential seating, meal-snack-drink charges, airline lounges, sports equipment charges and musical instrument charge etc. The rates for these unbundled services will be decided by the airlines.
“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,” it further added.
It is worth remembering that all domestic and international flights were suspended after the Centre announced a nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown on March 24 last year. However, domestic flights resumed in a staggered manner from May 25 last year following the Home Ministry guidelines.
In December, the Centre also increased the cap on the number of domestic passenger flights that Airlines were allowed to operate from the existing 70 per cent to 80 per cent of their pre-COVID levels.