Air passengers flying out of Delhi airport will now have to shell out money to get their baggage scanned, which will make flights costlier. From February 1, Delhi airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) will start levying X-ray baggage charges on airlines, according to a January 10 order by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).
The applicable charges for aircraft flying on domestic routes range from Rs 110 to Rs 880, depending on the number of seats on the plane. But the same for international flights is much steeper - $149.33 (around Rs 10,648) for narrow-body aircraft and $209.55 (Rs 14,908) for wide-body planes.
Airlines, already drawing flak for nickel-and-diming fliers, are expected to pass on these charges to their customers flying out of Delhi. But don't worry, the extra charge won't amount to much. "A passenger who takes a domestic flight is unlikely to pay more than Rs 5 as 'X-ray baggage charge'. On an international flight, the per passenger charge would not be more than Rs 50," a source in the know told PTI.
However, coming on the heels of another charge recently introduced at the Indira Gandhi International airport, the fee component of airfares for Delhi passengers is beginning to pinch. Since December 1, passengers flying out of Delhi airport have had to shell out Rs 77 per ticket towards facilitation component of the Passenger Service Fee (PSF), which replaced the much lower User Development Fee of Rs 10 for domestic passengers and Rs 45 for international passengers.
AERA allowed DIAL to charge the baggage scanning fee after the airport operator remitted almost Rs 120 crore to the government, The Times of India reported. According to the AERA order, the Delhi airport operator, on October 24, 2018, submitted that it had procured assets relating to baggage screening equipment worth Rs 119.66 crore from PSF (that air passengers pay) and Rs 2.23 crore from DIAL's own fund. AERA then stipulated that DIAL will be entitled to charge X-ray baggage fees if it remitted back the amount spent from PSF.
(Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal; with PTI inputs)