ibnlive » India

May 12, 2013 at 10:38am IST

Flying becomes a costly affair, passengers cry foul

New Delhi: A move that was aimed at bringing down flying costs has taken a turn for the worse. Starting May 13, you might have to pay more to fly. Air India ,for instance, has reduced free check-in baggage to 15 kilograms from the earlier 20 kilograms.

Effective from May 13, each extra kilogram above the free allowance limit will cost Rs 250. Tickets with the lowest fare will be made non-refundable and reissue of ticket or changing date will cost Rs 1,500 as compared to the earlier Rs 750. No show cost is now Rs 1000 instead of Rs 500. There has been no reduction in base fares yet.

Meanwhile, IndiGo will now begin charging for for pre-booking seats in rows one, two and near the emergency exits. The rate - Rs 500 for domestic flights and Rs 800 for international flights. Pre-booking charges for other seats Rs 200 for domestic flights and Rs 300 for international. The implementation date for these is yet to be decided.

Jet Airways, too, has reduced free check-in baggage to 15 kilograms from 20 kilograms. Extra cost of Rs 250 per kilogram for domestic flyers and will be effective from May 15. No reduction in base fare yet.

Go Air and SpiceJet are also in the process of deciding what all services to charge for. SpiceJet already charges for sports and musical instruments. No reduction in base fare yet.

The move has left passengers fuming. When the Civil Aviation Ministry allowed airlines to charge extra for certain preferred services on April 29, the idea was to reduce that cost from the base fares so that ticket costs would be reduced. But barely ten days later, it is clear most airlines have chosen to increase these costs without cutting base fares - burdening the passengers even further.