The Indian Aviation sector is on track to get a big change after the The Minister for Civil Aviation Mr. Ajit Singh has decided to permit scheduled airlines to unbundle certain services and to charge fees for these services separately.
As per the press release last evening, the aviation regulator has allowed the following services to be charged for separately:
- Preferential seating
- Meal/snack/drink charges (except drinking water)
- Charge for using Airlines’ lounges
- Check in baggage charges
- Sports equipment carriage
- Musical instrument carriage
- Fee for special declaration of valuable baggage
The above list will be reviewed after 6 months. The ministry expects the fares to get corrected with this step but honestly the way things are I guess the prices will go up with this as the airlines will use these as add on benefits or privileges over and above the existing fares.
The guidelines have been set in place to ensure airlines don’t take passengers for a ride, and this includes that airlines will need to notify these charges in advance and not club them with the base ticket automatically, rather ask the customer to choose what they want.
I hope this step goes in the right direction and proves beneficial for all customers in the end.