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“Unbundling” Service Charges to make Air Travel Cheaper

“Unbundling” Service Charges to make Air Travel Cheaper

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NEW DELHI, Feb 26: The union government has decided to “unbundle” certain services offered by the airlines to make air travel cheaper for the passengers not availing those services. This will include carrying no extra luggage except the cabin hand bag allowed to the passengers.

The “unbundling” the services would mean charging for the services separately for the passengers opting for the same.

Soon the passengers travelling without check-in luggage will have some concession on their air tickets, thus making fares more affordable.

According to a circular issued by the aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Friday, “It is felt at many times that 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 consumers an option of paying for the services which he/ she wishes to avail, it has been decided by the government to allow check- in baggage charges separately.”

The DGCA director general Arun Kumar said, “The aim is to bring in this unbundling rule, and is issued with immediate effect.”

Elaborating on this rule, the DGCA said, “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 passengers booking tickets under such fare scheme are made aware of the charges that shall be applicable if they turned up with baggage check-in at the airline counter. These applicable charges will be reasonable, prominently displayed to the passenger at the time of booking of ticket and also to be printed on the ticket.”

The government has already allowed services like seat preference, meal/ snack (except water), sports equipment, musical instrument carriage, fee for a special declaration of valuable baggage, to be charged separately by the airlines.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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