Private Indian airline companies have hiked up their check-in baggage fees for any luggage that exceeds the 15 kg standard limit. Domestic passengers will now have to shell out more money to fly with budget air carriers like GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo.
Increasing Air Fares
Private air carriers in India including SpiceJet, IndiGo, GoAir have passed a new rule that could hit domestic flyers hard. The airline companies have decided to join efforts in increasing check-in luggage fees for baggage that exceed their standard limit of 15 kg.
GoAir was the first out of the three airlines to announce the price hike, and the other companies followed suit by raising their baggage charges on Friday. Currently, India’s national airline, Air India, is the only carrier that allows its domestic passenger up to 25 kg of free check-in baggage.
This isn’t the first time private air carriers have levied price hikes on domestic flyers. Only last month, IndiGo, which is India’s biggest airline company, announced an increase of Rs. 400 per passenger as fuel surcharge to compensate for the rising oil prices.
Even though fluctuating oil prices have been affecting the entire air transportation industry, Indigo became the first company to pass the burden of fuel prices onto its passengers.
Increasing Oil Prices
The fare increase, which became effective on May 30, levies a Rs 200 surcharge on every ticket within a travel distance of thousand kilometers. All routes longer than the standard distance would carry a surcharge of Rs 400.
Indigo said in a statement that the surcharge on air tickets should not have a significant impact on the air traffic demand since the increase is only marginal compared to the 50 per cent decrease in air fares over the past decade.
Apart from soaring fuel prices, the airline company also blames the depreciation of Indian currency for its decision to levy a surcharge. Almost 40 per cent of an airline company’s operational expenses are made up of fuel costs, and for a low-cost air carrier like IndiGo, it’s a burden that they cannot afford to carry alone.
The company ensured its customers that the new increase in ticket fares is not permanent, and the company will continue to review its fares in light of fuel prices. Once the prices moderate, the airline plans to withdraw the surcharge.
New Excess Baggage Fees
After last month’s fuel surcharge, IndiGo passengers have been stuck with yet another price hike, this time in the form of excess baggage fees. The air carrier recently announced on its official website that it was planning to revise its check-in luggage fees as an extension of fuel surcharge it had imposed before.
Domestic flyers are now expected to pay Rs 1,900 for 5 kg of excess baggage over the 15 kg standard limit if they pre-book their flight. For extra 10 kg, the charges have increased to Rs 3,800, for 15 kg Rs 5,700 and for 30 kg Rs 11,400.
Passengers will be charger Rs 400 for ever kilo over the 15 kg limit if they decide to pay at the airport check-in counter. GoAir’s price increase for excess baggage is also similar to Indigo, according to the information provided on its official website.
IndiGo said in its baggage fee revision announcement that while regular passengers are expected to pay Rs 400 for every kilo of excess baggage at the check-in counter, domestic flyers booked on Lite Fare will only pay Rs 200.
The last time IndiGo revised its baggage fees was in August last year. For every 5 kg over the standard limit, the company imposed Rs 1,425 in charges, Rs 2,850 for 10 kg, Rs 4,275 for 15 kgs and Rs 8,550 for 30 kg.
SpiceJet’s new baggage charges are significantly lower than those of IndiGo and GoAir. The company is charging Rs 1,600 for extra 5 kg in the domestic sector, Rs 3,200 for 10 kg; Rs 4,800 for 15 kg; Rs 6,400 for 20 kg and Rs 9,600 for 30 kg.
Jet Airways has also made a change to its baggage rules which will come into effect on July 15, 2018. According to the full-service air carrier’s new requirement, domestic flyers with economy tickets can only check in one baggage piece weighing no more than 15 kg. Business class passengers are allowed 2 luggage pieces, although their luggage weight limit will still be 15 kg.