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Flying with just a cabin bag will be 10-15% cheaper:
On a busy corporate route like Delhi-Mumbai, hand luggage fare can be cheaper by at least Rs 500-Rs 800.
Indian airlines are devising new fare structures where travelling without a check-in baggage may turn out to be 10-
15 per cent cheaper.
Last week, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allowed airlines to unbundle services, including check-
in baggage, implying airlines can charge for them as extra. Currently, it is compulsory for airlines to allow at least
15 kg of luggage without any charge.
Unbundling — dividing the product or service into separate elements and selling them each at different prices — is
a profit maximisation strategy, primarily aimed at attracting the price-sensitive customer. This is not the first time
that the DGCA has allowed hand luggage fare.
The last time the DGCA had permitted this was in 2016. It made it mandatory that in case a passenger books hand
luggage fare but turns up with extra luggage at airports, airlines can charge only Rs 200 extra. “It just tied the
hands of airlines and killed the initiative. A large section of people sta rted booking hand-luggage-only fare but
turned up wi th more luggage. The Rs 200 cha rge was not a big issue. Airlines tried it for some time but couldn’t
make it a commercial success,” an executive said. But DGCA has made a crucial change this time where airlines
are free to charge. “This is a crucial change the regulator has made,” the executive added.
The new commercial freedom provided to airlines will allow them to create lower fare structures, helping low-cost
airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia to entice their customers during Covid times. “Most of the tier-1
rou tes, which are between metro cities, are heavily dominated by corporate traffic where passengers normally
travel with a laptop bag and return the same day. They don’t need the 15 kg baggage allowance. The new rules by
DGCA will allow us to provide them with a