Domestic flight operators are permitted to offer concessions in ticket prices to flyers who carry no baggage or only cabin baggage, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Friday, February 26.
According to a new circular by the aviation watchdog, airlines can give free baggage allowance besides "zero baggage or check-in baggage."
Currently, a passenger is allowed to carry up to 7 kilograms of cabin baggage and 15 kilograms of check-in baggage. Apart from this, airlines charge for additional weight.
The new rule will enable operators to offer tickets at lesser prices to flyers who choose to travel with no baggage or only with cabin baggage within the permitted weight limit.
To get the discounts, passengers will have to declare the weight of their luggage at the time of booking the plane ticket.
"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 statement.
The aviation watchdog has also permitted dissociation of other services such as airline lounges, musical instrument charges, preferential seating, sports equipment charges, and meal-snack-drink charges, etc. However, the rates of these unbundled services will be determined 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," DGCA added.